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Central Ukraine Uranium - Severinskoye, Michurinskoye / Ingulsky, Vatutinskoye, Kalynovske, Yuzhnoye

Ukraine

Main commodities: U
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There are more than 15 known historically mined, currently operating (2008) and undeveloped economic resources in central Ukraine distributed over an area of approximately 300 km east-west by 150 km north-south, served by three processing centres at Kirovograd, Zhovti Vody (Zheltye Vody) and Dnipropetrovsk (Dniprodzerzhinsk) in the west, centre and east of the region respectively, although more recently the ore from the Kirovgrad area has been railed to Zhovti Vody. Kirovograd is approximately 250 km SE of Kiev and 100 km NW of Krivoy Rog. Zhovti Vody is around 100 km ESE of Kirovograd while Dneprodzerzhinsk is a further 75 km ENE, on the Dnieper river.

Significant clusters of mines and deposits include:
- The major Smolino (or Vatutinskii) mine which exploits the Vatutinske deposit near the town of Smolino, 60 km west of Kirovgrad, the Yuzhnoye (Pivdenne) and Kalinovske deposits which are around 50 and 100 km respectively further to the south of Vatutinsk. Other deposits in the same vicinity include Lozovatske, Sadovokonstantinovske and Bratske.
- The Ingulskyi (Ingulsky, Ingul'skii) mine 21 km south of Kirovgrad, which exploits the Michurinske deposit. The Severinske orebody is also on the outskirts of Kirovgrad.
- The Pervomayskoye (exhausted in 1967) and Zheltorechenskoye (mined out in 1989) deposits are located immediately to the south of Zhovti Vody and were early discoveries.
- The Devladovske, Novogurievske, Surske and Chervonoyarske form a generally east-west trending 100 x 50 km group between and immediately to the south of Zhovti Vody and Dnipropetrovsk.
- The Safonivske and Nikolokozelske deposits are around 90 km SSW and south respectively of Zhovti Vody.

The largest deposits are Severinskoye, Michurinskoye and Vatutinskoye. Michurinske was the first large deposit and was discovered in 1964, although mineralisation had been identified at Pervomayskoye and Zheltorechenskoye in 1945 and 1946 respectively and mined from 1959. Most of the deposits are exploited by underground workings to depths of up to 700 m below the surface (as at Michurinske) although some open pit mining was undertaken in deposits close to Zhovti Vody.

The Devladovske, Bratske and Safonivske deposits are palaeo-valley sandstone deposits at depths of approximately 100 m below the surface, exploited by in situ acid leach operations.

Approximately 75% of Ukraine's resources apparently occur as uranium-bearing albitites in deep fault zones within the Ukrainian shield and are associated with sodium metasomatism superimposed on the granite-gneiss basement within an area of tectonomagmatic activity which occurred at the end of the Ukrainian shield orogenesis.

The Ukrainian shield represents the south-eastern exposed segment of the East European Craton and is composed of Archaean 3.8 to 3.2 Ga crust and 2.3 to 2.1 Ga Paleoproterozoic orogenic belts. In the uranium districts of the Ukraine, the shield has been divided into two north-south trending terranes, the western Kirovgrad and eastern Pridneprovsky zones. These are bounded to the east and west by similar age/lithology terranes. Each is 100 to 300 km wide and separated from its neighbour by a major north-south trending suture zone. The core of each is composed of granite greenstone terranes, with elongate greenstones belts generally trending north-south and/or NW-SE, which were deformed in the interval from 2.6 to 2.5 Ga. The Kirovgrad and Pridneprovsky zones are separated by the Paleoproterozoic volcanics, sediments and iron formations of the Krivoy Rog zone which are within the north-south suture zone separating the two Archaean terranes.

The granite-greenstone Kirovgrad and Pridneprovsky terranes underwent simultaneous metamorphism and deformation and were intruded by 2.97 Ga tonalite-granodiorite bodies of the Dneprovsky Complex. Greenstone belts within these terranes are believed to have been emplaced between 3.25 and 3.0 Ga and overlie/separate gneissic-granitoid rocks. The greenstone sequences include komatiitic and tholeiitic extrusives and intrusives, iron formations, meta-dacites and meta-andesites.

The Krivoy Rog zone is composed of flysch, chert and subordinate banded iron formations and mafic volcanic rocks with a total thickness of 7000 to 8000 m. This zone hosts the giant Krivoy Rog iron deposits in southern Ukraine. The sediments have been dated at around 2.5 Ga from authigenic uranium minerals and are intruded by 1.88 Ma granites. The Krivoy Rog zone occupies a narrow (10 km wide) north-south trending synformal zone that has been subjected to thrusting and east verging isoclinal folding (towards the Pridneprovsky terrane). The Krivoy Rog iron formations are exposed in the Zhovti Vody district and are a host to at least some of the alteration and associated uranium mineralisation.

The uranium mineralisation in the region, and associated albities, was emplaced at 1.7 Ga, following regional potassium granitisation. The albitite always has associated hematite, magnetite, apatite, malacone (a zirconium silicate and source of zirconium) and rutile. The principal uranium minerals are oxides (uraninite, nasturan), silicates (uranophane, boltwoodite, betauranotile, coffinite) and titanates (brannerite, davidite). Grades on average are between 0.1 and 0.2% U. The ore apparently occurs in structurally controlled veins and stockworks associated with a 10 km wide tectonic zone.

In addition to the albitite-style mineralisation, several of the smaller deposits (Yuzhnoye, Kalinovskoye, Lozovatskoye) are associated with pegmatite-type potassium metasomatism and close in the age to the regional granitisation.

In 2000 resources/reserves included: Severinske - 64 000 t U at an average grade of 0.1%U; Vatutinskoye - 25 500 t U: Michurinskoye - 27 000 t U; Yuzhnoye, Kalinovskoye and Lozovatskoye - 15 000 t U.

Few figures are available on historic production although two tailings dumps at Zhovti Vody contain 19 Mt and 45 Mt of radioactive waste respectively from operations between 1959 and 1982. Similar dumps at Dniprodzerzhinsk, which operated from 1947 to 1990 contain 42 Mt of radioactive waste.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 2007.    
This description is a summary from published sources, the chief of which are listed below.
© Copyright Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd.   Unauthorised copying, reproduction, storage or dissemination prohibited.


  References & Additional Information

Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd (PorterGeo) provides access to this database at no charge.   It is largely based on scientific papers and reports in the public domain, and was current when the sources consulted were published.   While PorterGeo endeavour to ensure the information was accurate at the time of compilation and subsequent updating, PorterGeo takes no responsibility what-so-ever for inaccurate or out of date data, information or interpretations.

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