Evaluation of a new milling process for the Caetité-Brazil uranium ore

CIM Journal, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2012
C. A. de Morais, H. M. Lima and L. A. Gomiero
Abstract The Caetité-Brazil uranium facility produces approximately 400 tonnes U3O8 per year from an ore averaging 0.29% U3O8. The process steps are ore crushing, heap leaching with sulphuric acid, uranium separation and purification by solvent extraction (SX) with a tertiary amine, followed by stripping with a sodium chloride solution, precipitation as ammonium diuranate (ADU), and product drying. A change in the milling process is being evaluated to increase production and uranium recovery. Heap leaching will be replaced by conventional agitated tank leaching of the –590 µm ground ore slurry in a sulphuric acid medium. Replacement of the stripping reagent is also being considered.
Keywords: Brazil, Uranium extraction, Heap leach, Plant expansion
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