Namibia: another big step forward in the Trekkopje project

News brief

the AREVA team around uranium concentrateOn January 10, 2011, the AREVA teams obtained the first batch of uranium concentrate in the development phase of the Trekkopje mining project in Namibia.

"The AREVA teams working in this project have done a great job and gotten excellent  results” says Paul Day, manager of the Trekkopje mine. "Our efforts will now concentrate on optimizing the production circuit.”

The Trekkopje deposit is a technical challenge because of the very low grade uranium ore and a world first in the use of alkaline heap leaching* to extract the uranium. To ultimately produce 3200 tons of uranium a year means processing 100,000 tons of ore per day. 

* heap leaching: selective extraction from ore heaped onto an impermeable pad and sprayed with an alkaline  or acid solution that naturally percolates through the heap and leaches out the contained metal.
The leach solution is then collected and piped to the processing plant, where the metal is extracted, purified, concentrated and packaged.