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RADIOACTIVE MINERALS

 


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= Fluorescent Specimen
  =  Radioactive Specimen

NEW TITLE
“INTRODUCTION TO RADIOACTIVE MINERALS
”, By Dr. Robert J. Lauf, 144 pages, 11” X 8 1/2”, soft cover, illustrated with 196 color, and b/w photos.  Collectors have long admired uranium and thorium minerals for their brilliant colors, the intense ultraviolet fluorescence of many of them, and their rich variety of habits and associates.  Radioactive minerals are also critically important as our source of nuclear energy. Understanding them is crucial to the safe disposal of radioactive waste.
This book provides a systematic overview of the mineralogy of uranium and thorium-bearing minerals, generously illustrated with nearly 200 color photos and electron micrographs of representative specimens.  Dr. Lauf has also included an historical discussion of the discovery of radioactive elements and the development of uranium and thorium ore deposits, a discussion of the geochemical conditions that produce significant deposits, and a description of important localities, their geological setting and history.
Major occurrences of interest to mineral collectors are arranged geographically. The minerals are arranged systematically, to emphasize how they fit into chemical groups, and for each group several minerals are selected to illustrate their formation and general characteristics.
This book is an invaluable guide for mineral collectors, particularly those specializing in collecting fluorescent minerals.  With the resurgence of interest in nuclear power, the book will also provide valuable information for nuclear scientists and engineers interested in radioactive deposits.
Published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., Atglen, PA, 2007.
ISBN: 9780764329128
Shipping weight:  3 pounds
Order Item BK0351
Price:  $29.95

2815

2816

2817

2818

2819

2820

2821

2822

2823

2824

2041

2043

2047  
URANINITE  
Happy Jack Mine, White Canyon, San Juan County, Utah

The Happy Jack Mine was a sedimentary type deposit where the Uraninite and other minerals were formed in a sandstone matrix.  In the 1950’s the Happy Jack Mine proved to be the second richest deposit of high grade Uranium ores in the nation, the first being the Mi Vida Mine, also in San Juan County.  The San Juan County area experienced significant growth during the Uranium boom of the 1950’s.  The specimens listed below were collected by Dr. Eugene B. Gross, who worked for the Atomic Energy Commission during the period of development of the Uranium-bearing mines in Utah for strategic use by the government.  Demand for Uranium subsided in the early 1960’s. On Jan. 1, 1960, the mill at the Happy Jack Mine was closed permanently by the AEC.   The mill tailings were stabilized by 1962, and the mill was dismantled in 1964.  Luckily, Dr. Gross had the foresight to collect quite a few specimens from this extraordinary deposit during its heyday of production.  All of the specimens are in natural condition, as collected by Dr. Gross.

Note that in some of the sedimentary deposits of minerals in the Colorado Plateau uranium mines, such as the Happy Jack Mine and the Mi Vida Mine, the sandstone was enriched by irregular replacement of Calcite cemented by the ore minerals.  Portions of the ore zones contained elongated, black pods measuring from several inches to several feet long. These pods were found to be replacements of wood by Uraninite and Calcite.  In some areas where replacements of wood were found, large logs were replaced by mineralization of Uraninite and Calcite.  Pyrite and Galena were sometimes noted in the carbonaceous material.  Dr. Gross reported, in his study of the mineralogy of the Mi Vida Mine, that “nearly all of the Uraninite occurs as replacement of wood, but it also occurs as a cementing mineral in sandstone, generally adjacent to carbonaceous material.” 1.  Unlike the Mi Vida Mine, the Happy Jack Mine ores also contained Copper, which ultimately provided a much greater diversity of secondary minerals.

From a 1954 USGS publication, “The best development of relatively unoxidized, nonvanadiferous ore is the Pitchblende-Copper sulfide deposit in which the Happy Jack Mine is located at White Canyon, Utah.  The ore contains both sooty Pitchblende and massive Pitchblende that is so pure and of such high specific gravity (9.0) as to justify calling it Uraninite.  Some of the Pitchblende replaces fossil wood and some, in tabular masses, does not show wood structure.  It is closely associated with Chalcopyrite, Pyrite, Bornite, Chalcocite, Sphalerite, and Galena, and traces of Cobalt, Nickel, Molybdenum, and Silver.” 2.

In addition to Uraninite, more than 60 other minerals have been identified from the ores of the Happy Jack Mine.  In fact, research on specimens in existing collections of minerals from the locality yielded two new species, Natrozippeite (1971) and Cobaltzippeite (1976), after the closure of the mine.  Below is a list of the minerals present on the various specimens in the table, below.  With the exception of Uraninite, not all of the minerals are present on every specimen.

From a 1954 USGS publication, “The best development of relatively unoxidized, nonvanadiferous ore is the Pitchblende-Copper sulfide deposit in which the Happy Jack Mine is located at White Canyon, Utah. The ore contains both sooty Pitchblende and massive Pitchblende that is so pure and of such high specific gravity (9.0) as to justify calling it Uraninite. Some of the Pitchblende replaces fossil wood and some, in tabular masses, does not show wood structure. It is closely associated with Chalcopyrite, Pyrite, Bornite, Chalcocite, Sphalerite, and Galena, and traces of Cobalt, Nickel, Molybdenum, and Silver.” 2.

In addition to Uraninite, more than 60 other minerals have been identified from the ores of the Happy Jack Mine. In fact, research on specimens in existing collections of minerals from the locality yielded two new species, Natrozippeite (1971) and Cobaltzippeite (1976), after the closure of the mine. Below is a list of the minerals present on the various specimens in the table, below. With the exception of Uraninite, not all of the minerals are present on every specimen.
 

Becquerelite Bieberite # Bornite Brochantite Calcite
Chalcopyrite Chrysocolla Cobaltzippeite Cuprosklodowskite Gypsum
Johannite ##  Metatyuyamunite FL  Phosphuranylite FL Pyrite Quartz
Sphalerite Uranopilite FL Uraninite Zippeite FL  

# Bieberite, CoSO4.7H2O, is a very rare Cobalt-bearing mineral.  Bieberite is pale pink, and is not fluorescent.

## Johannite, Cu(UO2)2(SO4)2(OH)2·8H2O, is a very rare Copper-bearing mineral belonging to the Zippeite group.  Johannite is yellow-green in color, and is not fluorescent.

FL indicates this mineral is fluorescent.  Uranopilite fluoresces bright yellow-green, best under SW UV.  The other fluorescent minerals give modest to weak responses in both SW and LW UV.

NOTES REGARDING PRICING, AND SPECIMEN PREPARATION: The gram weights of the specimens are given in the table below, simply as a measure of specimen size.  Specimens are not sold by the gram.  Small specimens have smaller amounts of Uraninite present, so the overall mR/hr and CPM readings are naturally lower on the small specimens, than the readings given for the larger examples.   Note that in some specimens that have heavy gram weights, and modest mR/hr and CPM readings, the presence of Bornite or other sulfide minerals accounts for some of the specimen weight.  Bornite is often intergrown or intimately associated with the Uraninite in specimens from the Happy Jack Mine, and it is difficult to visually distinguish the Bornite, etc. from the Uraninite in the photographs. 

1.      “Mineralogy and Paragenesis of the Uranium Ore, Mi Vida Mine, San Juan County, Utah,” Dr. Eugene B. Gross, Economic Geology, Vol. 51, No. 7, November 1956, P. 634-635.

2.   “Identification and Occurrence of Uranium and Vanadium Minerals from the Colorado Plateaus”, Geol. Survey Bulletin 1009-B, A. D. Weeks and M. E. Thompson, 1954, P. 21-22


 

 

ITEM
NO.

 WEIGHT(GRAMS)

 SPECIMEN SIZE
(INCHES)

mR/hr @ 1”
CD V-700 GM
COUNTER

CPM @ 1”
CD V-700 GM
COUNTER

 SPECIMEN
PRICE

 

2815

13.45

1

7/8

5/8

7

5,000

SOLD

 

2816

17.85

1 1/8

3/4

5/8

14

9,500

SOLD

 

2817

20.75

1 3/8

7/8

3/8

23

15,000

SOLD

 

2818

29.28

2 1/4

1

1/2

5

3,000

SOLD

 

2819

31.47

1 1/2

1 1/4

5/8

4

2,500

$   22.00

 

2820

50.96

1 1/2

1 1/4

5/8

14

9,500

SOLD

 

2821

101.65

2 1/2

1 1/4

1 1/4

.4

200

$   35.00

 

2822

108.90

2 3/4

1 3/4

1

28

19,000

$ 125.00

 

2823

115.55

3 1/4

1 1/2

3/4

25

16,600

$ 135.00

 

2824

151.50

3 1/4

1 1/2

1

25

16,600

$ 170.00

 

2041

142.85

2 3/4

1 5/8

1 1/8

25

16,600

$ 160.00

 

2047

439.50

4 3/8

2 3/4

1

25

16,600

$ 390.00

 

2048

580.40

4 3/4

2 5/8

1 1/4

30

20,000

$ 475.00

 

2541

117.50

3 1/2

1 3/4

7/8

25

16,600

$ 135.00

 

2543

171.98

3 3/8

1 1/2

1 1/4

45

27,500

SOLD

 

2544

247.40

4 1/4

2 1/8

3/4

45

27,500

$ 275.00

 

2545

287.40

3 1/4

2 1/2

1 3/8

40

25,000

$ 270.00

 

2547

401.90

3 7/8

3 3/4

2 1/4

>50

>30,000

SOLD

 

2548

439.20

3

2 7/8

2 1/4

>50

>30,000

SOLD

 

2551

847.30

5 1/4

3 3/8

1 7/8

>50

>30,000

$ 675.00


 


2048

2541

2543

2544

2545

2547

2548

2551

COBALTZIPPEITE, JOHANNITE  
Happy Jack Mine, White Canyon, San Juan County, Utah

In addition to the Uraninite specimens listed above, there was one specimen of Cobaltzippeite in the collection of Dr. Eugene B. Gross, as shown in the photo at the left.  Cobaltzippeite is a secondary mineral first identified from the Happy Jack Mine in the mid-1970s.  On this specimen Cobaltzippeite was formed as coatings of orange micro spheroidal aggregates richly covering the surface of the matrix, associated with yellow-green micro crystalline / crystals of Johannite.

Specimen size:  2” X 1” across X 1/2” thick
Gram weight: 20.93 grams
Order Item:  2837
Price:  SOLD


1607

1608

1609

1610

1611

AESCHYNITE-(Y)
Clora May Mine, Trout Creek Pass, near Buena Vista, Chaffee County, Colorado

The Clora May Mine is also known as Mina Blanca or the Clara May Lode.   Several other rare earth element-bearing minerals have been identified from this locality.  For background information, see “Minerals of Colorado”, E. Eckel, P. 12 (1997).  Aeschynite-(Y) from this locality is available as pure, lustrous, brownish-black masses without matrix, or with very tiny veinlets of matrix intergrown, very shiny on the fresh surfaces.  Typical of many of the REE-bearing minerals, natural weathered surfaces have a dull luster.  Note:  Item MI-1616 is a matrix specimen with about 40% Aeschynite-(Y) and 60% dark gray massive smoky Quartz.  The accompanying locality photograph was supplied by Rudy Bolona, a Colorado mineral collector.  This looks like a nice looking place to go field collecting!  Aeschynite-(Y) is (Y,Ca,Fe,Th)(Ti,Nb)2(O,OH)6.



 

 

 

ITEM
NO.
MI-

 WEIGHT
(GRAMS)

 SPECIMEN SIZE
(INCHES)

mR/hr @ 1”
CD V-700 GM
COUNTER

CPM @ 1”
CD V-700 GM
COUNTER

 SPECIMEN
PRICE

 

1607

14.10

1

7/8

1/2

2.0

1,330

SOLD

 

1608

15.25

1 1/4

5/8

1/2

2.0

1,330

SOLD

 

1609

19.70

1 1/8

7/8

5/8

2.5

1,660

SOLD

 

1610

24.32

1 1/4

1 1/8

3/8

3.0

2,000

SOLD

 

1611

36.48

1 5/8

1

3/4

3.0

2,000

SOLD

 

1612

41.60

1 3/8

1

3/4

3.0

2,000

SOLD

 

1613

53.61

2

7/8

7/8

4.0

2,500

SOLD

 

1614

71.50

1 3/4

1

1

> 5.0

> 3,000

$  68.00

 

1615

65.95

1 7/8

1 1/4

5/8

> 5.0

> 3,000

SOLD

 

1616

81.12

2 1/2

1

1

4.0

2,500

SOLD

 

1616A

9.30

Lot of 7 small specimens, +/- 1/8” up to 7/8” X 3/8” X 3/8”

2.0

1,330

SOLD

 


1612

1613

1614

1615

1616


Clora May Mine

 

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