Print Icon Uranium Investigations

AMD's prime mandate is to identify and evaluate uranium resources required for the first stage of atomic energy programme of the country. For implementing this important task investigations are taken up across the length andClick Here to View Enlerged Map breadth of the country from Regions located at New Delhi (Northern Region), Bangalore(Southern Region) Jamshedpur (Eastern Region), Shillong (Northeastern Region), Jaipur (Western Region), Nagpur (Central Region) and Hyderabad (AMD headquarter & South Central Region).

The strategies for uranium exploration are guided by geological criteria and contemporary developments in uranium exploration techniques world over. The general scheme of activities (investigative methodology) commences with literature study followed by study of available satellite images/ photogeological maps, known radioactivity, geochemical anomalies etc. This is followed by airborne gamma ray spectrometric (AGRS) surveys over favourable areas for narrowing down the target areas. Radiometric reconnaissance survey is taken up in these target areas using hand held scintillometer. Once uranium anomalies are located, detailed geological and geophysical studies on different scales (1:50000; 1:25000; 1:10000; 1:5000) are then undertaken narrow down the areas for taking up drilling. Simultaneously, the samples generated at various stages of exploration are analysed in Physics, Chemistry, EDXRF, Petrology, XRF, XRD and EPMA laboratories for ore characterization. Bulk samples of the ores are studied in Mineral Technology and Ore Dressing laboratories for optimizing flow sheet characters.

Survey Table
Type of Survey Area
RECONNAISSANCE SURVEY
5,45,786 Sq.Km
AGRS SURVEY
7,85,544 Line Km
DETAILED SURVEY
11,988 Sq.Km
GEOCHEMICAL SURVEY
2,37,085 Sq.Km
GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
4,267 Sq.Km
DEPARTMENTAL DRILLING
19,70,036 m
CONTRACT DRILLING
7,91,779 m
Drilling by hydrostatic rig Uranium mineral in hand specimen and photomicrograph

The resources of uranium are estimated at various stages of exploration and the mutually agreed reports on reserve estimates are prepared jointly with the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) for planning commercial exploitation.

India's identified conventional uranium resources (RAR and Inferred) are estimated to amount to 1,81,606 tU and are hosted by the following type of deposits

Table Showing Uranium Resources
S.No. Category # Resource % U Occurrences in India
1 Carbonate Deposit 42.24 Click Here to View Enlarged Map
2 Metamorphite type 31.55
3 Sandstone type 10.33
4 Unconformity type 9.95
5 Metasomatite 3.74
6 Granite Related 1.99
7 QPC 0.19

 

(i) Cuddapah uranium province, located in the Southern and South Central Regions. It contains the Proterozoic unconformity related uranium deposit at Lambapur-Peddagattu in Nalgonda district, Andhra Pradesh. The Cuddapah basin also hosts a unique stratabound uranium deposit associated with siliceous dolostone at Tummalapalle in Cuddapah district, Andhra Pradesh.

(ii) Singhbhum uranium province, located in the Eastern Region.All the deposits, presently being exploited,such as Jaduguda, Narwapahar, Turamdih, and Bagjata occur in this province.The other deposits in this belt are Mohuldih, Nandup, Rajgaon, and Garadih.All these occurrences are of vein type.

(ii) Mahadek uranium province, located in the Northeastern Region. The Cretaceous Mahadek Formation in Meghalaya contains the largest and richest sandstone-hosted uranium deposit of the country at Domiasiat (KPM deposit) in West Khasi Hills district. Another deposit of similar nature is at Wahkyn where exploration activities are in progress. 

(iv)< Albitite belt of Rajasthan and Haryana<, located in Western and Northern Regions. The Meso-proterozoic Delhi Group of metasediments in parts of Rajasthan and Haryana holds potential for metasomatic and unconformity type of uranium mineralisation. A small deposit hosted by albitised metasediments of Delhi Supergroup has been established at Rohil and its extension.

(v) Bhima basin<, located in Southern Region. Comprising arenaceous and calcareous metasediments of Bhima Group deposited over basement granite, affected by number of East-West trending major fault zones. A small sized medium grade uranium deposit has been established in one such fault zone at Gogi.

Efforts are underway to augment the uranium resource base of the country by expediting exploration inputs in following geological domains. Airborne Time Domain Electromagnetic surveys have been introduced in a big way in the uranium exploration programme of the country. More than 400 000 km of airborne geophysical surveys, including TDEM, Gamma-ray spectrometric and magnetic surveys, are proposed to be carried out over potential Proterozoic Basins of India. An ambitious programme to drill about 700 000 m in potential target areas of the country has already been formulated in order to augment national uranium resources.

1. Proterozoic basins : Unconformity related, vein type and QPC type of world uranium resources are found in the Proterozoic rocks. Particularly the unconformity contact zones between the Lower Proterozoic rocks with those of Middle-Upper Proterozoic ages have been the prime locales for the uranium mineralisation. In India, a number of Proterozoic basins such as (i) Cuddapah basin, Andhra Pradesh  (ii) Aravalli-Delhi fold belt, Rajasthan  (iii) Gwalior-Vindhyan basin, Madhya Pradesh (iv) Bhima-Kaladgi basin, Karnataka (v) Chhattisgarh basin in Chhattisgarh & Odisha exist where multidisciplinary investigations have been taken up insearch of unconformity related uranium deposits. A unique carbonate hosted deposit associated with siliceous dolostone in the south western part of Cuddapah basin, Andhra Pradesh has opened a large area for uranium exploration.

2. Phanerozoic basins : Similarly Sandstone type of world uranium resources are associated with Phanerozoic rocks. In India, the Phanerozoic sandstones, particularly the Cretaceous basin of Meghalaya has been one of the main targets for uranium exploration. Several deposits have already been established and the entire basin has been considered as one of the thrust areas for uranium investigation. Other Phanerozoic basins considered potential are (i) Gondwana basins of India and (ii) Siwalik basin of the Himalayas.

3. Metamorphite and Metasomatite type deposits: : In recent past, Metasomatite/ Metamorphite type mineralisation associated with albitite type of rocks emplaced in tectonised domains have been located in many parts of globe particularly in Russia and Kazakhastan. They owe their origin to both magmatic and metasomatic processes. Such geological set up also exists in India particularly in parts of Rajasthan (NDFB), CGGC of Central India and Dharmapuri shear zone of Tamil Nadu. Extensive efforts are being pursued for locating such desposits.

4. Quartz pebble conglomerate deposits : Known Quartz-pebble conglomerate (QPC) type of U-deposits occur as basal Lower Proterozoic beds unconformably  lying above Archaean basement rocks in South Africa and Canada. In India such environments are observed at a number of places like Walkunji in South Kanara District and Arbail in North Kanara district in the Western Ghat Belt, Karnataka, Dhanjori and Iron basins of Singhbhum district, Jharkand and Sundergarh district, Odisha. Based on the number of anomalies located in these areas survey has been intensified for locating QPC type of deposits.

5. Fe-oxide breccia type deposits : Particularly after the discovery of the Olympic Dam deposit in Australia, the largest uranium deposit of world, attention has been given to look for uranium mineralisation elsewhere in similar geological environment. In Indian scenario, such environments exist in parts of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Meghalaya where investigations have been initiated with this objective.