Uranium is known to occur in over 200 different minerals but most of these do not occur in deposits of sufficient grade to warrant economic extraction. Uranium ore can be extracted by open pit, underground or in-situ mining methods.
Uranium mill process flowsheets and unit operations for yellow cake production vary based on chemical and mineralogical characteristics of the ore to be processed. Ore characteristics are a particularly important component of the understanding the process development. Numerous other factors such as geology, radiation safety, economics, geography, environment, and regulations can change the uranium ore processing technology selection criteria.
In this course we introduce participants to the basic concepts and operations involved in uranium ore processing including:
• An overview of the various types of mining techniques in uranium industry.
• An introduction of the mineralogy of uranium bearing ores and associated minerals and the impact this has on the method of uranium extraction used.
• The basic operations and equipment used in uranium mills.
• The structure of flowsheets and their application to various uranium ores.
• Metallurgical testwork required to characterise a uranium ore.
• Meeting regulatory compliance for environmental and radiation concerns in the Uranium industry.