Uranium Oxide Production at Rössing Uranium

A process overview

Summary of the Rössing Process
• Single product - U3O8 • Low grade deposit - 0.340kg/t U3O8 • Conventional shovel truck open pit. • Sulphuric acid leach process • Product is sold forward on long term contracts

Key Metallurgical Parameters • U3O8 grade • Acid consumption rate (Calc Index) • Settling characteristics • Geological make-up (Ore Type) .

1400 volts DC – 4 km of trolley line – Save N$ 0.35/tonne – Fuel Consumption 365 l/hr -> 20 l/hr .Hauling • Haulpak 730E • Truck Capacity = 180 tonnes • Employ Trolley Assist –1200 .

Processing Plant .

RUN OF MINE ORE PRIMARY CRUSHER S SECONDARY CRUSHERS LEACHING ACID + Conarc Dust TWO .STAGE SCREENING FINE CRUSHING TERTIARY CRUSHERS Reduction FERRIC REACTORS RODMILLS LEACH TANKS CYCLONES QUARTERNARY CRUSHERS ACID OXIDANTS Extraction THICKENERS TAILINGS ROTOSCOOPS PREGNANT SOLUTION SANDS/SLIMES SEPARATION BARREN SOLUTION AMMONIUM HYDROXIDE COMBINED TAILINGS TO DAM BARREN SOLUTION RECOVERY SOLVENT EXTRACTION Recovery FILTRATION PRECIPITATION DRUMMED URANIUM OXIDE AMMONIA GAS CALCINING .

Operating Parameters: • Two Primary Crushers fed with run off mine material to produce product size of less than 155mm • Crushing Rate 2500-2600tph • Crusher make is the Osborn Gyratory (54”/74”) • Crusher product is fed onto a Coarse Ore stock pile with capacity of 250 000 tonnes Primary Crushers .

Pre-Screening Plant • Removes the already fine material that is less than 15 mm • Removes approximately 30% of material to Fine Ore Stockpile • Consists out of 1 set of scalping grizzly screens and 1 set of banana screens. • Commissioned .1999 .

Fine Crushing Plant .

• Plant capacity of 2300 tph • Closed circuit plant • Two secondary crushers • Four tertiary screens Fine Crushing Plant • Four tertiary crushers • Six quaternary screens • Two quaternary crushers • Product size = -17 mm .

Rodmills • Four rod-mills in parallel • Feed rate = 560 tph / mill • Open circuit grinding • Wet grinding (using recycled solution) • Product size 30% +850 microns/20 mesh • Product size D80 is 1.1mm .

9 hours • Leach temperature 35 °C – 1 Small mixing tank = 290 m3 – 5 Large tanks = 1450 m3 .Leach Process • Sulphuric acid leaching • 2 Modules • Six leach tanks per module • Tank capacity • Retention time 8 .

Mineral Composition Leach Feed • Uranium bearing minerals: uranium at Rössing occurs in the form of uraninite. uranophane and betafite and is found in alaskite • Gangue minerals: calcite (marble) makes up a very small proportion of the ore and is the major consumer of acid in Rössing ore .

1.Factors That Influence the Rate of Dissolving Uranium From Rössing Ore Controllable leach parameters. Reagent Concentrations . 2.Acid & Oxidants . Grind (30% +20Mesh).

IRON ADDITION (Slurried Conarc) MANGANESE DIOXIDE REACTOR SULPHURIC ACID Leach Process RETURN DAM SOLUTION 1 MIXING TANK 2 RODMILL DISCHARGE CONTROL TANK 3 4 5 6 LEACH DISCHARGE .

Washing Circuit .

180 g/l (uranium) .• Solid liquid separation process –Cyclones –Roto-scoops –Thickeners Washing Circuit • Product solution contains uranium in a sulphate form (Uranyl Sulphate) • Concentration of pregnant solution is 0.

Continuous Ion Exchange • Concentration stage • Adsorption process (contacting vessels) • Ionic resin beads • Elution process (eluting columns) • Acidic solution (10% acid) • Concentrated Eluate is Uranyl sulphate • Product solution 4 .5 g/l (uranium) .

Solvent Extraction • Concentration and Purification stage • Mixer settler units • Liquid-liquid ion exchange process • Organic tertiary amine is used as Extractant • Ammonium sulphate is used as stripping medium • Product solution is uranyl sulphate • Concentration of uranium in product:13-15 g/l .

3 • Ammonia is used to raise pH • Ammonium di-uranate is precipitated • De-watering process – thickener drum filters • Roasting process at 830°C • Product quality is more than 98% U3O8 .Final Product Recovery • Optimum precipitation takes place at pH 7.

RUN OF MINE ORE PRIMARY CRUSHER S SECONDARY CRUSHERS LEACHING ACID + Conarc Dust TWO .STAGE SCREENING FINE CRUSHING TERTIARY CRUSHERS Reduction FERRIC REACTORS RODMILLS LEACH TANKS CYCLONES QUARTERNARY CRUSHERS ACID OXIDANTS Extraction THICKENERS TAILINGS ROTOSCOOPS PREGNANT SOLUTION SANDS/SLIMES SEPARATION BARREN SOLUTION AMMONIUM HYDROXIDE COMBINED TAILINGS TO DAM BARREN SOLUTION RECOVERY SOLVENT EXTRACTION Recovery FILTRATION PRECIPITATION DRUMMED URANIUM OXIDE AMMONIA GAS CALCINING .

Questions ? .

OVERFLOW TO THICKENER CIRCUIT Roto-scoops LEACH PLANT DISCHARGE CYCLONE UNDERFLOW TO 1ST STAGE ROTOSCOOP SANDS TO 2ND STAGE ROTOSCOOP BARREN SOLUTION FROM CIX 2ND STAGE OVERFLOW = WASH SOLUTION TO 1ST STAGE ROTOSCOOP FIRST STAGE OVERFLOW RETURNS TO JOIN LEACH DISCHARGE AND CYCLONE FEED WASHED SANDS TO TAILINGS .

Thickeners PATH OF SLIMES THROUGH THE THICKENERS CYCLONE OVERFLOW FROM ROTOSCOOP SECTION WASHED SLIMES TO TAILINGS PATH OF SOLUTION THROUGH THE SECTION BARREN SOLUTION FROM CIX PREGNANT SOLUTION TO CIX .

Continuous Ion Exchange .

Solvent Exchange .

WASH AND REPULP 6 HEARTH CALCINING FURNACE DRUMMED URANIUM HAMMER MILL CALCINED PRODUCT .2-7.3 YELLOW CAKE THICKENER THICKENER UNDERFLOW SG 1. WASH AND REPULP STORAGE SECOND STAGE FILTER.1.3 .OK LIQUOR FROM SX NH3 GAS PRECIPITATION pH 7.5 WATER WATER AMMONIUM SULPHATE TO SX PLANT Final Product Recovery STORAGE FIRST STAGE FILTER.