Mongolia : AREVA launches a first uranium recovery test


View of the Dulaan Uul exploration site AREVA's activities in Mongolia enter a new phase. On December 1st, with the agreement of NEA (Mongolia's Nuclear Energy Agency), AREVA launched an in situ recovery (ISR) test on the Umnut site, a promising Dulaan Uul deposit.

This major event stands for the transition from exploration phase to development phase, a fundamental milestone on the mining route.

In Situ recovery techniques are used to recover uranium from low grade deposits. This mining method consists of dissolving the ore by injecting chemical solutions through a well - leaching - then extracting the pregnant leachate by pumping. The test data will be modelled so as to optimize the considered system for an industrial pilot. The results of the tests are expected in June 2011.

The choice of ISR technology relates directly to the nature of the deposit. It is a method that is used specifically for low-grade deposits. The low grade, the depth of the deposit and the nature of the rock hosting the mineralisation are all favourable elements for ISR mining.