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ArticleName Application of pelletization in heap uranium leaching
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2023.07.09
ArticleAuthor Yakovlev M. V., Bolshukhin V. Yu.

E. P. Slavsky PIMCU, Krasnokamensk, Russia:

M. V. Yakovlev, Chief Engineer at Hydrometallurgical Plant,
V. Yu. Bolshukhin, Leading Engineer–Process Engineer at Central Research Laboratory


The increasingly lower grade of uranium-bearing ore and the elevation of the uranium production cost at PIMCU calls for new approaches to chemical production. These circumstances should be taken into account in processing of mineral raw materials to ensure operation without loss. In recent years, PIMCU’s urgent task is to increase essentially the volume of ore processing by heap leaching. The latter involves problems connected with ore mudding and formation of impermeable zones in ore piles due to the presence of siltstone and clayey material. In this respect, the lab-scale tests and pilot production trials of percolation leaching of pelletized uranium-bearing fine
ore together with crushed coarser ore were carried out. Uranium recovery by heap leaching with pelletization of aluminosilicate fines would be practically efficient in case of successful reduction of the consumption of aluminous cement through the use of plasticizers and cheaper binders. The study of aluminosilicate ore with uranium content of 0.127 % proved the higher efficiency of percolation leaching of uranium from the ore material treated with pelletization of fine grains as compared with the methods of ore pretreatment without pelletizing. The research findings helped determine stimulation techniques for the process of percolation leaching of uranium, which can enhance efficiency of uranium recovery by heap leaching and ensure complete utilization of mineral resources. The positive results of the research are the reduction in cost of the binding agents used in creation of granulated material by ~1.5–3.5 times as against pellets made of aluminous cement.
The authors appreciate participation of the Director of Science at E. P. Slavsky PIMCU, Doctor of Engineering Sciences A. A. Morozov in this study.

keywords Uranium-bearing aluminosilicate ore, mudding, pelletization, binder, crushing, screening, leaching

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