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File Created: 12-Mar-1987 by Larry Jones (LDJ)
Last Edit:  30-Nov-1996 by Keith J. Mountjoy (KJM)

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Name COVERT BASIN, HUNTER Mining Division Osoyoos
BCGS Map 082E023
Status Developed Prospect NTS Map 082E04E
Latitude 049º 14' 09'' UTM 11 (NAD 83)
Longitude 119º 32' 47'' Northing 5456793
Easting 314641
Commodities Uranium Deposit Types B08 : Surficial U
Tectonic Belt Intermontane Terrane Overlap Assemblage, Plutonic Rocks
Capsule Geology

The Covert Basin uranium occurrence lies about 6 kilometres north of Oliver, British Columbia and 4.5 kilometres east-northeast of the former Standard mine (082ESW091).

Regionally, the area is principally underlain by medium-grained intrusive rocks that form the Jurassic Oliver plutonic complex. Three distinct phases have been identified. From youngest to oldest these are: a central core of massive, medium-grained garnet-muscovite quartz monzonite which is surrounded by porphyritic biotite quartz monzonite to the south and biotite-hornblende quartz monzonite north of the core. Hornblende diorite occurs in several small areas to the north. Border phases and dikes related to the Oliver plutonic complex include lamprophyre, augite-plagioclase porphyritic andesite, micro-quartz diorite, albite porphyritic dacite, diabase, fine-grained quartz monzonite and aplite. To the south, the complex cuts Carboniferous to Permian Kobau Group metasedimentary rocks. These include laminated quartz schist or dirty quartzite, massive and laminated quartzite and minor limestone. On its northern margin, the intrusive mass is in contact with overlying Eocene volcanics and sediments of the Penticton Group. The Kettle River Formation, consisting of conglomerate, arkose and rhyolite tuff, is overlain by the Springbrook and Marron formations. The Covert Basin uranium occurrence has formed in unconsolidated glacial, fluvial and alluvial Quaternary sediments in the Okanagan river valley.

The Covert Basin is a fluviatile type of surficial uranium deposit. It occurs within an ancient meander (oxbow), which is now a valley margin swamp, on the flood plain of the Okanagan River where it has eroded into a glacial terrace. Uraniferous alkaline groundwater are infiltrating from side drainages into the porous terrace. Here the uranium is adsorbed and probably reduced in peaty layers within sand and clays. The deposit contains about 23 tonnes of uranium (Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Volume 21, May 1984, page 561).

The uranium-enriched area measures 72,000 square metres (800 by 800 metres) and averages 1.6 metre thick, at an average depth of 0.7 metre. With an estimated average density of 1100 kilograms per cubic metre, the deposit yields 126,720 tonnes. The average uranium concentration of 4 augerholes was 0.018 per cent with a 0.5-metre thickness assaying 0.05 per cent uranium (Culbert, 1979). Total contained uranium is 23 tonnes.

EMPR ASS RPT 6532, 6949, 7398
EMPR EXPL 1977-E22,E26; 1978-22,23,26; 1979-25
EMPR FIELDWORK 1977, pp. 7-13; 1978, pp. 12-15; 1988, pp. 19-25
EMPR MAP 29; 35 (Revised); 39
EMPR OF 1989-2, 1989-5; 1990-32, p. 19
GSC MAP 341A; 538A; 539A; 541A; 15-1961; 1736A; 2389
GSC OF 481; *551; 637; 1505A; 1565; 1969
GSC P 77-1A, p. 31
CIM BULL Vol. 71, No. 783, May 1978, pp. 103-110
CJES *Vol. 21, May 1984, pp. 559-566
ECON GEOL Vol. 77, No. 5, 1982, pp. 1176-1209
*IAEA TECDOC 322 Surficial Uranium Deposits, Vienna, 1984, pp. 179-191
Bates, D.V., J.W. Murray and V. Raudsepp (1980): Royal Commission of Inquiry, Health and Environmental Protection, Uranium Mining; Commissioners' Report, October 30, 1980, Vol. 1, pp. 35-36, 183-184
*Culbert, R.R. (1979): Post-Glacial Uranium Concentration in South Central British Columbia, Royal Commission on Uranium Mining, Accession List #2109S01, 20 pages
Culbert, R.R. (1979): Uranium Equilibrium - Disequilibrium as Observed in the Natural Environment in British Columbia, Royal Commission on Uranium Mining, Accession List 2017S, 15 pages with Appendices
*Culbert, R.R. and D.G. Leighton (1988): Young Uranium; in Unconventional Uranium Deposits; Ore Geology Reviews Vol. 3, pp. 313-330