Mining of Mineral Deposits

ISSN 2415-3443 (Online)

ISSN 2415-3435 (Print)

Flag Counter

Application of radio-wave geointoscopy method to study the nature of spreading the solutions in the process of uranium underground leaching

Bertan Tsoy1, Saifilmalik Myrzakhmetov1, Egor Yazikov2, Alma Bekbotayeva1, Yelena Bashilova1

1Satbayev University, Almaty, 050013, Kazakhstan

2Tomsk Polytechnic University, Tomsk, 634050, Russian Federation

Min. miner. depos. 2021, 15(4):1-7

Full text (PDF)


      Purpose. Assessment of the effectiveness of using the method of radio-wave geointoscopy of the inter-well space for three-dimensional mapping of the zone of the leaching solution actual propagation in the process of uranium mining by the method of underground leaching.

      Methods. Experimental-industrial studies of the leaching process are conducted at technological block 68 of the Semizbay deposit (Kazakhstan). In experimental studies, special equipment is used for conducting radio-wave geointoscopy. Inter-well measurements are performed using the RVGI-06 equipment. The observations are conducted in a fan pattern within the filter section. The step between adjacent points along the wellbore is 1 m. At different stages of mining the technological block, maps of geoelectric resistivity have been compiled, with the help of which a comparative analysis is performed.

      Findings. A tendency to an increase in the area of acidic solutions propagation over time has been revealed by comparing the fragments of RVGI geoelectric map at different stages of mining the block. The influence of a heterogeneous geological structure on the uniformity of the leaching solutions propagation has been proved. It has been determined that the resolving power of the radio-wave geointoscopy method is sufficient to detect changes in geoelectric conditions at small monitoring cycles in time. The spatial-temporal change in the front of the leaching solutions propagation makes it possible to determine the prevailing directions of solutions propagation and to assess the filtration characteristics of rocks.

      Originality. The patterns have been determined of the leaching solutions propagation over time from the beginning of block acidification to active leaching. The first attempts have been made to use the geophysical well logging method in the practice of uranium mining by In-Situ Leaching (ISL) method.

      Practical implications. Monitoring studies by radio-wave geointoscopy method at the stage of passive acidification can be re-commended for further experimental and scientific testing at technological blocks of the Semizbay deposit for a quantitative assessment of the filtration characteristics of rocks and the dynamics of the acidification process development, as well as for the development of well-grounded recommendations on the optimal scheme for mining the blocks in specific geotechnical conditions.

      Keywords: underground leaching, geophysical methods, radio-wave geointoscopy, uranium, inter-well space


  1. In Situ Leach Mining (ISL) of Uranium – World Nuclear Association. (2020). Retrieved from:
  2. Aben, E.K., Rustemov, S.T., Bakhmagambetova, G.B., & Akhmetkhanov, D. (2019). Enhancement of metal recovery by activation of leaching solution. Mining Informational and Analytical Bulletin, (12), 169-179.
  3. Abzalov, M., Drobov, S., Gorbatenko, O., Vershkov, A., Bertoli, O., Renard, D., & Beucher, H. (2014). Resource estimation of in situ leach uranium projects. Applied Earth Science, 123(2), 71-85.
  4. Golik, V.I., Razorenov, Y.I., & Lyashenko, V.I. (2018). Conditions of leaching non-ferrous metals from non-commercial reserves. Bulletin of the Tomsk Polytechnic University, Geo Assets Engineering, 329(6), 6-16.
  5. Zhou, Y., Li, G., Xu, L., Liu, J., Sun, Z., & Shi, W. (2020). Uranium recovery from sandstone-type uranium deposit by acid in-situ leaching – an example from the Kujieertai. Hydrometallurgy, (191), 105209.
  6. Lyashenko, V.I. (2001). Improvement of mining of mineral resources with combined leaching methods. Gornyi Zhurnal, (1), 28-35.
  7. Kyser, K. (2016). Exploration for uranium. Uranium for Nuclear Power, 53-76.
  8. Penney, R., Ames, C., Quinn, D., & Ross, A. (2012). Determining uranium concentration in boreholes using wireline logging techniques: Comparison of gamma logging with prompt fission neutron technology (PFN). Applied Earth Science, 121(2), 89-95.
  9. Chaudhry, A.U. (2003). Fundamentals of drawdown test analysis methods. Gas Well Testing Handbook, 237-318.
  10. Lohunova, O., & Wyjadłowski, M. (2018). Modification of vibratory driving technology for sustainable construction works. MATEC Web of Conferences, 251, 03063.
  11. Chaudhry, A.U. (2004). Well testing methods for naturally fractured reservoirs. Oil Well Testing Handbook, 254-286.
  12. Baibatsha, A.B., Bekbotayeva, A.A., & Mamanov, E. (2015). Detection of deep ore-controlling structure using remote sensing. International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference Surveying Geology and Mining Ecology Management, 113-118.
  13. Interpretation of the results of mechanical rock properties testing with respect to mining methods. (2020). Acta Montanistica Slovaca, (25).
  14. Temirhanova, R., & Syzdykova, M. (2013). Rol’ i mesto geofizicheskih metodov v poiske, razvedke i ekspluatacii uranovyh mestorozhdenij v kazahstane. Geology and Bowels of the Earth, 4(49), 62-66.
  15. Seredkin, M., Zabolotsky, A., & Jeffress, G. (2016). In situ recovery, an alternative to conventional methods of mining: Exploration, resource estimation, environmental issues, project evaluation and economics. Ore Geology Reviews, (79), 500-514.
  16. Yussupov, Kh., Aben, Ye., Omirgali, A., & Rakhmanberdiyev, A. (2021). Analyzing a denitration process in the context of underground well uranium leaching. Mining of Mineral Deposits, 15(1), 127-133.
  17. Legavko, D. (2019). Improvement of methodical receptions for log data interpretation at exploration and development of infiltration uranium mine fields. Geophysical Research.
  18. Abzalov, M. (2012). Sandstone-hosted uranium deposits amenable for exploitation by in situ leaching technologies. Applied Earth Science, 121(2), 55-64.
  19. Verkhoturov, A., & Sabigatulin, A. (2019). Stimulation of uranium recovery by treatment of seepage zones of wells. Mining Informational and Analytical Bulletin, (7), 13-20.
  20. Yazikov, V., & Legavko, A. (2012). Osobennosti provedeniya geofizicheskikh issledovaniy v skvazhinakh pri izuchenii i osvoenii infil’tratsionnykh (gidrogennykh) mestorozhdeniy urana. Tomsk, Rossiya: Tomskiy Politekhnicheskiy Universitet.
  21. Istratov, М., Lysov, M., Chibrikin, I., Matyashov, S., & Shumilov, A. (2000). Radiovolnovaya geointroskopiya RVGI mezhskvazhinnogo prostranstva na mestorozhdeniyah nefti. Geofizika, 90-93.
  22. Cherepanov, A. (2014). Spatial geoelectric monitoring of the permafrost state near injection wells by the example of an oil field in western siberia. Inzhenernye Izyskaniya, (12), 18-24.
  23. Ivanov, A., & Solodov, I. (2018). Selection of casing material for in-situ leach wells. Gornyi Zhurnal, (7), 81-85.
  24. Kochkin, B. (2020). Reduced-type alterations at exogenic infiltration uranium deposits and their relation to rising groundwater. Geology of Ore Deposits, 62(1), 9-30.
  25. Yusupov, K., Elzhanov, E., Aliev, S., & Dzhakupov, D. (2017). Application of ammonium bifluoride for chemical treatment of wells in underground uranium leaching. Gornyi Zhurnal, 57-60.
  26. Yussupov, K., & Omarbekov, Y. (2020). Improving the technology of uranium mining. Mining of Mineral Deposits, 14(3), 112-118.
  27. Лицензия Creative Commons