CEMS Hybrid Luncheon – The Geochemistry of Uranium in Natural Environments – 12/12

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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

CEMS December 2023 presentation notes


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.

This talk will tell the story of uranium and how it behaves in the natural environment from the birth of uranium in stellar explosions, it’s occurrence on early earth, the profound impact life has on the occurrence of uranium, all the way to the modern day where geological and hydrological processes are still impacting the occurrence of uranium in rocks and groundwater. We will explore the geochemical and radiological properties of uranium, how these influenced the formation of uranium deposits, as well how these properties can be used to mitigate natural and human-caused uranium contamination of land and water. John will cover uranium mineralogy, and bring several examples of uranium minerals formed under a variety of environmental conditions.


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.




In Person Location:  Davis Graham and Stubbs, LLP will be hosting CEMS. DGS is located at 1550 17th Street, Suite 500, Denver, CO 80202. Parking validation is not available. 

Go to Webinar – Registration HERE (virtual attendance only). After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing detailed information about joining the webinar. If you lose your registration or confirmation, or have questions, please do not hesitate to contact CEMS via email admin@coems.org.

In Person Registration:

BYO Box Lunch and Attend for Free – Registration with email to admin@coems.org


Box Lunch Registration – box lunch registration is closed

Sponsorship: CEMS accepts sponsorships to defer expenses associated with its webinar series. Information about sponsorship can be found here: Sponsorship Program

Notice: CEMS would like to thank Davis Graham & Stubbs, LLP for the use of meeting space and would like to emphasize that the use of Davis Graham & Stubbs, LLP space does not constitute endorsement of CEMS, sponsors of CEMS functions, or the content of CEMS workshops or meetings.

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