2008 – ALTA, Perth WA


The single most striking feature of uranium process metallurgy is the diversity of
minerals present and therefore the flowsheets adopted. As an interesting sideline, this
diversity issue will limit the possibilities of toll milling to decrease CAPEX
requirements and create viable projects – a common approach in gold and nickel. By
their very nature, the numerous uranium and associated minerals in a deposit are
exotic and complex. This creates a considerable challenge for metallurgists and
process engineers as not only can the multiple uranium minerals behave very
differently but their associated minerals can also pose considerable challenges to
process design.
Uranium exists as vein ores, in sandstone, pegmatite’s, shales, lignite ores, gold ores
and copper ores as well as some granites. The implications of mineral composition
dictates how the ore will process. In addition the nature of the host rock or gangue can
make extraction more difficult, increase reagent consumption or require pre treatment.

Read the paper here