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Selection of Lixiviants for in Situ Uranium Leaching.
MISSING :35 pages
This Bureau of Mines publication provides information to assist in selecting a lixiviant (leach solution) for in situ uranium leaching. The cost, advantages, and disadvantages of lixiviants currently used and proposed are presented. Laboratory and field tests are described, and applications of geochemical models are discussed. Environmental, economic, and technical factors should all be considered. Satisfying environmental regulations on restoring groundwater quality is becoming an overriding factor, favoring sodium bicarbonate or dissolved carbon dioxide over ammonium carbonate. The cheapest lixiviant is dissolved carbon dioxide, but it is not effective in all deposits. Technical factors include clay swelling by sodium, acid consumption by calcite, and the low solubility of oxygen in shallow deposits. Laboratory leaching tests can provide useful data. However, they can be misleading if, for example, the ore is allowed to oxidize before testing or if distilled water instead of formation water is used for making solutions for permeability tests. Geochemical models presently are more useful for indicating trends in solubility than in reliably predicting concentrations.
IH; Information Circular;
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division