Mining of Mineral Deposits

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Analyzing changes in a leach solution oxygenation in the process of uranium ore borehole mining

Erbolat Aben1, Bakytzhan Toktaruly1, Nursultan Khairullayev1, Mukhtar Yeluzakh1

1Satbayev University, Almaty, 50013, Kazakhstan

Min. miner. depos. 2021, 15(3):39-44

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      Purpose is to increase uranium content in a PR solution while developing a technique varying oxidation-reduction potential of a leach solution with its oxygenation and identify changes in the oxygenation depending upon sulfuric acid concentration as well as transportation distance of the solution.

      Methods. A laboratory facility, involving solution tank, pump, Venturi tube, tank to install oxygen analyzer, and a dump tank, has been manufactured under the lab conditions to determine a leach solution oxygenation taking into consideration its delivery rate, sulfuric acid concentration, and temporal preservation of the concentration. Solution flow velocity; the deli-vered solution volume; sulfuric acid concentration; and distance from oxygenation point to a seam changed and varied during the study. Oxygenation was measured with the help of AZ 8403 oximeter; IT-1101 device was used to measure pH value as well as oxidation-reduction potential (ORP).

      Findings. A technique for a leach solution oxygenation and results of laboratory tests to identify influence of a sulfuric acid as well as transportation distance of a solution on oxygen concentration in the solution have been represented. It has been determined that Venturi tube helps oxygenize a leach solution; in this context, maximum oxygen concentration is achieved if a flow velocity is optimum one. It has been specified that a solution oxygenating depends upon a sulfuric acid concentration decreasing moderately with the increasing distance of the solution transportation.

      Originality.Following new dependencies have been determined: oxygen concentration in a solution upon a flow velocity and solution volume; and oxygen concentration in a solution upon distance from concentration place and sulfuric acid concentration.

      Practical implications.A leach solution oxygenation results in the increased oxidation-reduction potential and in the increased content of a useful component in the pregnant solution respectively. The proposed technique is notable for its low capital spending. Moreover, it is integrated easily into the available system being absolutely environmentally friendly.

      Keywords:saturation, oxygen, borehole, sulfuric acid, leach solution, pregnant solution, flow velocity


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