The Geochemistry of Uranium in Natural Environments
Dr. John DeDecker, VP Exploration, Eskay Mining Corporation, and Colorado School of Mines
Tuesday, December 12, 2023, 11:45am-1pm
Hybrid Format – In person and virtual
CEMS has was unable to secure a CLE for this presentation, but as always we will distribute one (1) Professional Development Hour (PDH) certificate
Uranium is a unique element on Earth and in the Universe. Uranium is the most massive element that occurs in appreciable quantities on Earth. Having formed by nucleosynthetic processes during kilonova and supernova, uranium is the product of the most energetic processes in the known universe. As a radioactive element uranium serves as a useful tool for dating events in Earth’s past. Uranium also has a unique chemistry, and is highly sensitive to changes in redox conditions. Both the radioactivity and chemical properties of uranium allow geologists to probe environmental conditions on Earth deep into the past. The presence of uranium clasts in sedimentary rocks over 3.5 billion years old serve as the primary evidence for a reducing and non-oxygenated atmosphere. The advent of photosynthetic organisms and the oxygenation of Earth’s oceans and atmosphere had a profound effect on the mobility of uranium in the natural environment. Indeed, the oxygenation of Earth allowed for the mobilization of uranium into aqueous solution, leading to the formation of high-grade uranium deposits that are now mined to supply nuclear energy.
Dr. DeDecker received his bachelor of science in geology, with an emphasis on mineralogy, igneous petrology and mathematics from North Carolina State University. He completed his masters of science in geology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying physical volcanology and igneous petrology, then went on to complete a PhD in geology and geochemistry at Colorado School of Mines under the advisement of world VMS expert, Dr. Thomas Monecke. He is a post doctoral fellow at the school where he researches the gold-rich VMS deposits near the Eskay Creek mine. Dr. DeDecker is founding partner of BOA Exploration LLC.
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