Elite Research Scholarships

Geological setting and ore genesis

Geological setting and ore genesis of the Kayelekera Uranium Mine, Malawi

The Kayelekera uranium deposit is located in the northern part of Malawi, southern Africa. Paladin Energy Limited, an Australian based company, holds an 85% interest in the Kayelekera Project with the other 15% held by the Republic of Malawi. Kayelekera is a sandstone-hosted uranium deposit of the “roll front” type hosted by Permian Karoo Sequence sediments of the North Rukuru Basin. Uranium mineralization occurs in four principal lenses within arkose and mudstone units. The lenses are superimposed vertically along the axis of a shallow northwest trending syncline. Uranium mineralisation occurs within reduced and oxidized arkose and is redistributed into mudstones along faults. A mine stratigraphy has been determined from the pre-mine drilling but has not been updated with exposures in the newly excavated open pit. Relatively little is known of the regional geology around Kayelekera, and this has obvious implications for exploration success. This study could make a significant contribution to regional geology and exploration by undertaking the following objectives:

  • Establishing the environments of deposition, the palaeogeography and a detailed regional stratigraphy for the Rukuru Basin
  • Identification of the specific characteristics of arkose and/or mudstone units that could be used in correlation within this stratigraphic framework
  • Establishing the diagenetic history of the Rukuru Basin with particular emphasis on the nature and timing of the introduction uranium
More Information: Dr Stuart Bull
Contact: s.bull@utas.edu.au