Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Materials

Uranium Production Cycle

Technical Meeting on the
Metasomatite Uranium Occurrences and Deposits

17 - 19 June 2013,
IAEA Headquarters, Vienna, Austria



Alkali metasomatism, a common geological process, is sometimes associated with uranium ore forming processes. Metasomatite uranium deposits are usually confined to areas of tectono-magmatic activity affected by intense sodium, sodium – carbonate and potassium metasomatism along deep rooted fault systems. Granite, gneiss, migmatite, metasediments or metavolcanics could be metasomatised this manner and host uranium mineralization.

Several sub-types and classes of mineralization are found, such as (a) sodium metasomatite with granite and metasediment or metavolcanic derived deposits; (b) potash metomomatite deposits; and (c) skarn deposits. Uranium mineralization associated with metasomatites is seen mainly in the Proterozoic times (1900 - 1700 Ma). A second episode is seen during 1500 – 1400 Ma and smaller discrete events occurred during 600 – 500 Ma.

The source of the fluids responsible for the metasomatism and quartz dissolution is presumed to be metamorphic, derived from anatectic zones and ascending upwards along deep and large fractures. Possible uranium sources include protoliths with high initial uranium, such as ortho-gneiss for the deposits hosted in granite, or conglomerates which can be the equivalent of Archean to Proterozoic quartz pebble conglomerates with detrital uraninite.

Some 50 deposits worldwide are attributed to this type of deposits from several countries. The largest know metasomatite deposits are seen in the Kirovograd District, Ukraine. Other regions with similar deposits are Beaverlodge, Canada, Itatiaia, Brazil and the Kokchetav Massif, Kazakhstan. Presently a small part of the global production is from this type of deposits, but many of the metasomatite deposits are potential candidates for future production of uranium.

Metasomatite deposits remain one of the least understood types due to the complexities in geological, geochemical and structural control in the origin and nature. Exploration for this type of deposit may require better understanding of nature and controls, and the use of specialized techniques. Given the potential for discovery of hitherto unknown deposits of this kind in many countries, better understanding of this deposit type will be helpful in assuring low-cost uranium supplies for the growing nuclear energy programme.

The purpose of the Technical Meeting is to provide a forum for experts from Member States to exchange information on the latest developments in geology, geochemistry, mineralogy, structural controls, exploration case studies, and resource evaluation of metasomatite uranium deposits. Additionally, recent research in environmental studies, safety and social licensing aspects related to development of this type of deposits will be discussed.

The target participants of the Technical Meeting are professionals engaged in uranium geology, exploration and production, researchers, energy planners and officials from Member States interested in uranium resources.

The Technical Meeting will be held in the IAEA’s Headquarters in Vienna, Austria.


The following specific topics are identified as being of particular interest, and shall be considered in the papers to be presented:

  • Geological setting and controls of metasomatite uranium deposits;
  • Origin of metasomatite uranium deposits;
  • Mineralization styles of metasomatite uranium deposits;
  • Recognition criteria for metasomatite uranium deposits;
  • Geochemical and geophysical exploration for metasomatite uranium deposits;
  • Exploration and production case histories of metasomatite uranium deposits; and
  • Socio-economic and environmental issues in production from metasomatite uranium deposits.


Mr Michel Cuney
Research Director at French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
Henri Poincaré University – NANCY I
Research team ‘Genesis and Management of Mineral Resources’
Domaine Scientifique Victor Grignard - Entree 3B
BP 70 239 - F54 506 VANDOEUVRE les NANCY Cedex, France
Phone: 33-(0)3 83 68 47 09
Fax: 33-(0)3 83 68 47 01

Scientific Secretary:
Mr Harikrishnan Tulsidas
International Atomic Energy Agency
Vienna International Centre
1400 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 1 2600 22758
Fax: +43 1 26007 22758

IAEA Secretariat:
Ms Michaela Neuenhaus
International Atomic Energy Agency
Vienna International Centre
1400 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 1 2600 22765
Fax: +43 1 2600 29671


Each person wishing to participate in the meeting is requested to complete the attached Participation Form (Form A), indicating whether he or she intends to present a paper, and this must be sent to the IAEA through the competent official authority by 15 March 2013.

Participants are required to prepare a paper on the topic related to metasomatite uranium deposits and to make a presentation of their paper. Each presentation should have a duration of approximately 20 minutes and should preferably be prepared in Microsoft PowerPoint format. Contributed papers and presentations should be submitted in English with an electronic version provided to the Scientific Secretary prior to the meeting.


The designated participants should provide an abstract of approximately 250 words for their paper as well as the completed Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B attached) to the Scientific Secretary by 15 March 2013 at the latest.


The meeting will be held at the IAEA’s Headquarters in M0E1 Press Room, Vienna International Centre (VIC). Participants are advised to arrive one hour prior to the convening time of the meeting to allow for timely registration. They should present an official photo identification document in order to be admitted to the VIC premises.

The IAEA Meetings and Conferences website can be accessed for more detailed information on Vienna and the VIC.


Participants are also advised that they may require a valid passport and Schengen visa for entry into Austria. Accordingly, it is advisable to begin the immediate preparation of travel arrangements and necessary authorizations. The Secretariat should be contacted as soon as possible if a formal invitation letter is needed in order to facilitate the visa request. The Agency recommends that participants apply for visas in a timely manner, if necessary.


In accordance with established rules, Governments, national authorities, private companies or individual sources are expected to bear the travel and other costs of designated participants in the meeting. Limited funds are, however, available to help cover the cost of participants from Member States eligible to receive technical assistance under the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme. Such assistance can be offered, upon specific request, to one participant per country provided that, in the IAEA’s view, this participant will make an important contribution to the meeting. The application for financial support should be made at the time of the designation of the participant.

It should be noted that compensation is not payable by the IAEA for any damage to or loss of personal property. The IAEA also does not provide any health insurance coverage for participants in meetings, workshops or training courses or for consultants. Arrangements for private insurance coverage on an individual basis should therefore be made. The IAEA, will, however, provide insurance coverage for accidents and illnesses that clearly result from any work performed for the IAEA.


The working language of the meeting will be English. All communications, abstracts, and papers must be sent in English.

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