MQes Urani um Inc.

 

Metallurgy

MQes Uranium has metallurgical expertise in hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy and in-situ leaching. This includes:

  • Crushing and grinding systems

  • Screening

  • Flotation
  • Roasting
  • Acid and Alkaline Leaching
  • Thickening and Washing
  • Resin Ion Exchange
  • Solvent Extraction

Ore processing plants recover uranium from feed ore and concentrate it to produce an intermediate, semi-refined product referred to as “yellow cake”.  Yellow cake is further processed to obtain uranium metal, UO2 or UO6

Processing uranium ores can be performed by physical concentration, chemical upgrading or a combination of the two.  Physical concentration may involve grinding, sizing, gravity separation, magnetic separation, electrostatic separation, flotation and various sorting techniques.  Chemical upgrading involves leaching all or portions of the ore.  The pregnant solution may then either be partially purified and a concentrated solution produced or a crude product precipitated.

Extraction involves the unit operations required to obtain solutions containing dissolved uranium.  A roasting step is used in the treatment of some ores to improve their physical characteristics or to increase the solubility of the minerals during leaching.  The leaching step is a key operation in the process.  The process is dictated by either acid leaching or alkaline leaching.  Characteristics of the ore dictate which method to use.  The final stage in the extraction phase is separation of the pregnant solution from waste solids. 

The pregnant solution is then concentrated and purified.  The two major techniques used for this are resin ion exchange and solvent extraction.  Final recovery of the uranium from solution is achieved by precipitation.  In alkaline process operations this involves precipitating sodium uranate.  In the acid process the uranium is precipitated from purified solution by neutralization with a base such as lime, magnesia, or ammonia.  A high grade product may also be produced with hydrogen peroxide.  Both techniques produce a semi-refined product referred to as “yellow cake”. 

MQes Uranium provides metallurgical expertise for operating mines as well as for organizations developing new projects.  MQes Uranium is keenly aware of the need to support exploration programs with preliminary metallurgical testing, and the importance of representative metallurgical sampling as new projects progress along the development path. MQes Uranium has specific expertise in designing and supervising metallurgical test programs and then evaluating the test results to develop the optimum processing route.  MQes Uranium's metallurgical expertise also includes: 

  • Developing process flowsheets
  • Performing detailed material and energy balances
  • Developing plant design criteria
  • Sizing equipment and preparing detailed equipment lists
  • Performing optimization reviews on existing operations
  • Trouble shooting processing problems
  • Commissioning new operations

 

 

 

 

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