LOW URANIUM ZIRCONS
A DIAMOND EXPLORATION TOOL

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Zircon grains and their matching mica Umap prints.

  • Zircons from mantle sources are low in uranium
    (generally < 66 ppm U).

  • Zircons and Diamonds occur in a variety of mantle rocks.

  • Zircons are very resistant to weathering and persist in drainage systems.

  • The presence of low uranium zircons in stream samples and other recent sediments can therefore indicate derivation of material from potential diamondiferous source rocks.

  • Zircons can be easily extracted from bulk samples with standard mineral separation techniques.

  • The Fission Track Technique is a low cost, rapid turnaround method for determining uranium content of individual zircon grains with a precision of ~10% at the 10 ppm level).

  • Large numbers of grains can be screened quickly and cheaply to identify the presence of low uranium zircon grains.

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