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Uranium Distributions in the Earths Crust

The following table is from Deffeyes & MacGregor, "World Uranium resources" Scientific American, Vol 242, No 1, January 1980, pp. 66-76.

type of deposit estimated tonnes down estimated ppm
lower grade fossil placers,sandstones 1 x 108 200-1,000
black shales 2 x 1010 20-100
ocean water 2 x 1010 .0002-.001
granites 2 x 1012 3-10
Vein deposits 2 x 105 10,000+
Pegmatites, unconformity deposits 2 x 106 2,000-10,000
fresh water 2 x 106 .0001-.001
volcanic deposits 2 x 109 100-200
average crust 3 x 1013 1-3
evaporites, siliceous ooze, chert 6 x 1012 .2-1
shales, phosphates 8 x 1011 10-20
oceanic igneous crust 8 x 1011 .1-.2
fossil placers, sand stones 8 x 107 1,000-2,000

The total abundance of Uranium in the Earth's crust is estimated to be approximately 40 trillian tonnes. The Rossing mine in Nambia mines Uranium at an Ore concentration of 300 ppm at an energy cost 500 times less than the energy it delivers with current thermal-spectrum reactors. If the energy cost increases in inverse proportion to the Ore concentration, shales and phosphates, with a Uranium abundance of 10 - 20 ppm, could be mined with an energy gain of 16 - 32. The total amount of Uranium in these rocks is estimated to be 8000 times greater than the deposits currently being exploited.


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