Uranium Ore Processing

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URANIUM ORE PROCESSING

The following States are Members of the International Atomic Energy Agency:

AFGHANISTAN ALBANIA ALGERIA ARGENTINA AUSTRALIA AUSTRIA BANGLADESH BELGIUM BOLIVIA BRAZIL BULGARIA BURMA BYELORUSSIAN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC CANADA CHILE COLOMBIA COSTA RICA CUBA CYPRUS CZECHOSLOVAKIA DEMOCRATIC KAMPUCHEA DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA DENMARK DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ECUADOR EGYPT EL SALVADOR ETHIOPIA FINLAND FRANCE GABON GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC GERMANY, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GHANA GREECE GUATEMALA HAITI

HOLY SEE HUNGARY ICELAND INDIA INDONESIA IRAN IRAQ IRELAND ISRAEL ITALY IVORY COAST JAMAICA JAPAN JORDAN KENYA KOREA, REPUBLIC OF KUWAIT LEBANON LIBERIA LIBYAN ARAB REPUBLIC LIECHTENSTEIN

LUXEMBOURGMADAGASCAR MALAYSIA MALI MAURITIUS MEXICO MONACO MONGOLIA MOROCCO NETHERLANDS NEW ZEALAND NIGER NIGERIA NORWAY PAKISTAN PANAMA PARAGUAY PERU PHILIPPINES

POLAND PORTUGAL QATAR ROMANIA SAUDI ARABIA SENEGAL SIERRA LEONE SINGAPORE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM SOUTH AFRICA SPAIN SRI LANKA SUDAN SWEDEN SWITZERLAND SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC THAILAND TUNISIA TURKEY UGANDA UKRAINIAN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS UNITED ARAB EMIRATES UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND UNITED REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA UNITED STATES OF AMERICA URUGUAY VENEZUELA YUGOSLAVIA ZAIRE ZAMBIA

The Agency's Statute was approved on 23 October 1956 by the Conference on the Statute of the IAEA held at United Nations Headquarters, New York; it entered into force on 29 July 1957. The Headquarters of the Agency are situated in Vienna. Its principal objective is "to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world".

Printed by the IAEA in Austria December 1976

PANEL PROCEEDINGS SERIES

URANIUM ORE PROCESSINGPROCEEDINGS OF AN ADVISORY GROUP MEETING ORGANIZED BY THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY AND HELD IN WASHINGTON, DC, 2 4 - 2 6 NOVEMBER 1975

INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY VIENNA, 1976

URANIUM ORE PROCESSING IAEA, VIENNA, 1976 STI/PUB/453 ISBN 92-0-041176-2

FOREWORDThe forecasts of uranium requirements up to the end of the century are very large and it is estimated that the present annual demand for uranium will increase by more than a factor of ten in the next twenty-five year period. There will be a need for a large expansion in milling capacity and an entirely new generation of milling plants within the next decade. This will be in addition to maintaining, modernizing and expanding the production capacity now in operation. AU these plants will have to make the most effective use of the various types of uranium resources and must have the advantage of the most efficient processes and technologies that can be made available. The International Atomic Energy Agency sponsored a panel meeting in Vienna in June 1966 on the Processing of Low-Grade Uranium Ores and followed this with a symposium in Sb Paulo, Brazil, in August 1970 on the Recovery of Uranium. The proceedings of both meetings were published by the IAEA. The Agency felt that it was timely to convene another meeting on this subject in 1975 and thus, at the invitation of the United States Bureau of Mines, an Advisory Group Meeting on Uranium Ore Processing was held in Washington, DC, from 24 to 26 November 1975. A total of 49 participants from 17 countries and one international organization took part in the meeting and 18 papers were presented. The technical sessions covered the following topics: Anticipated future demand for uranium and need for increase in milling capacity; uranium ore milling practice; known and partially engineered techniques which have not reached full application in the milling of uranium ores; process problems and developments for some new uranium ore occurrences; processing of low-grade resources; uranium as a by-product and by-products from uranium ores; in situ leaching; and recovery of uranium from sea-water. A panel, appointed from among the participants, summarized the conclusions of the meeting and presented recommendations for future action. The papers, the discussions, and the conclusions and recommendations are presented in these Proceedings. The Agency wishes to thank all the scientists and engineers who participated in the meeting, not only for the papers but also for the contributions to the discussions. Thanks are especially due to the Chairman of the meeting, Mr. Joe B. Rosenbaum, Consulting Metallurgist, Bureau of Mines, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and to the Chairman of the panel group, Mr. F.C. Lendrum, Metallurgical Consultant, King City, Ontario, Canada. Special thanks are extended to Mr. H.E. James of the Atomic Energy Board, Pelindaba, South Africa, who completed the tables given at the end of this book, showing a classification of the available information on commercial uranium extraction flowsheets, new plants and techniques in the countries contributing to the meeting. The Agency also wishes to record its sincere gratitude to the United States authorities and specifically the United States Bureau of Mines for hosting the meeting and providing the excellent conference arrangements and general hospitality to the participants.

CONTENTSANTICIPATED FUTURE DEMAND FOR URANIUM AND NEED FOR INCREASE IN MILLING CAPACITY (Session 1) Outlook for uranium demand and production capacity (IAEA-AG/33-8) J.B. Rosenbaum Discussion 3 9

URANIUM ORE MILLING PRACTICE (Session II) Recent trends in Canadian uranium processing (IAEA-AG/33-9) EC. Lendrum, H.H. McCreedy Discussion Recent trends in research and development work on the processing of uranium ore in South Africa (IAEA-AG/33-5) H.E. James Discussion La mineralurgia del uranio en Espaa (IAEA-AG/33-)J.M. Josa

13 17 23 37 41 52 55 67 69 75

Discussion Some recent improvements in a uranium processing pilot-plant at the Ningyo-toge Mine (IAEA-AG/33-1) S. Takenaka, H. Kawate Discussion Process development study on uranium-bearing carbonatite (IAEA-AG/33-16) M. Shabbir, Naeem-ul-Zaman Discussion

KNOWN AND PARTIALLY ENGINEERED TECHNIQUES WHICH HAVE NOT REACHED FULL APPLICATION IN MILLING OF URANIUM ORES (Session III) Stored technology for possible use in uranium ore processing (IAEA-AG/33-7) D.C. Seidel Discussion 79 89

PROCESS PROBLEMS AND DEVELOPMENTS FOR SOME NEW URANIUM ORE OCCURRENCES (Session IV) Notes on technical aspects of problems connected with the treatment of several new-generation Australian uranium occurrences (IAEA-AG/33-2) L.H. Goldney, ER. Hartley, R.G.P. McMahon Discussion 93 105

Treatment of an isolated high-grade, low-tonnage uranium orebody (IAEA-AG/33-13) S. Ajuria-Garza, W.D. Jamrack Discussion Environmental problems posed by wastes from the uranium milling industry (1AEA-AG/33-14)

107 117 119 123

PA. BonhoteDiscussion

PROCESSING OF LOW-GRADE RESOURCES (Session V) Traitement des minerais d'uranium faible teneur (IAEA-AG/33-10) P. Michel 127

Discussion

137141

(IAEA-AG/33-7).., .., .., .., .., .., .. (Processing of low-grade uranium ores in the USSR: D.I. Skorovarov et al.) Discussion Studies on the recovery of uranium from low-grade ores in India (IAEA-AG/33-11) K.M. V. Jayaram, K.K. Dwivedy, A.S. Deshpande, T.M. Ramachar Discussion Uranium recovery from bituminous shales at Ranstad (IAEA-AG/33-18) . Andersson Discussion

152 155 169 171 176

URANIUM AS A BY-PRODUCT AND BY-PRODUCTS FROM URANIUM ORES (Session VI) Uranium as a by-product and by-products of uranium production (IAEA-AG/33-3) F.E. McGinley, J.F. Facer Discussion 181 187

IN-SITU LEACHING (Session VII) ln-situ leach mining for uranium (IAEA-AG/33-15) G.R. Davis, R.E. Miller, G.G. Swift Discussion 193 200

RECOVERY OF URANIUM FROM SEA-WATER (Session VIII) Recovery of uranium from sea-water (IAEA-AG/33-12) G.I. W. Llewelyn Uranium from sea-water: Possibilities of recovery, exploiting slow coastal currents (IAEA-AG/33^) Bettinali, F. Pantanetti 205

213

Discussion to papers IAEA-AG/33-12 and IAEA-AG/33^Conclusions and recommendations List of participants

231 233 235

CLASSIFICATION OF URANIUM EXTRACTION PLANTS

Table AI. Classification of commercial uranium extraction flowsheets Table AII. New uranium plants and deposits under investigation Table AIII. Summary of existing, improved and new techniques for uranium ore processing steps

Attached to inside back cover

ANTICIPATED FUTURE DEMAND FOR URANIUM AND NEED FOR INCREASE IN MILLING CAPACITY (Session I)

IAEA-AG/33-8

OUTLOOK FOR URANIUM DEMAND AND PRODUCTION CAPACITYJ.B. ROSENBAUM United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Salt Lake City Metallurgy Research Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America AbstractOUTLOOK FOR URANIUM DEMAND AND PRODUCTION CAPACITY. Despite appreciable errors in recent forecasts of nuclear power growth rate, the amended estimates still show the required amount of uranium raw material for 1985 to be three to four times larger than the world's existing uranium production capacity, both operating and on standby. By expanding the existing production units and adding new units based on known ore reserves, the uranium demands of 1980 might be met. The number of production units in the world (except for China, the Soviet Union and the Eastern European countries) might increase from the current 45 to about 70. Substantial additional capacity based mostly on newly discovered ore resources would be necessary to meet the uranium demands of 1985. Because a lead time of about eight years is probable to bring a newly discovered uranium deposit into production, a prompt increase in exploration activity is needed. The search for resources and development of reserves is expected to extend to ores containing