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ArticleName By-producing scandium from pregnant solutions during in-situ leaching at Dalmatovskoe uranium deposit
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2017.08.05
ArticleAuthor Smyshlyaev V. Yu.

Dalur JSC, Kurgan Region, Russia:

V. Yu. Smyshlyaev, Scandium Project Manager,


Dalur company carries out commercial production of uranium using the method of in-situ leaching. When sulfuric acid solution is fed in rock mass, some elements, including rare earths, in particular, scandium, are partly dissolved and go from enclosing rock mass to pregnant solutions together with uranium. At the present time, these by-products remain yet unrecoverable from pregnant solutions. At first, the task is set to extract scandium – a very valuable mineral product being in short supply in the world market. The article presents the history of the laboratory and full-scale research aimed to find a technology to obtain scandium by-product during uranium production. Some institutions in Russia undertook especially extensive investigations in the indicated area of science in 2013–2016 using the pilot-plant equipment. As a result, a rough concentrate with a high content of scandium fluoride (25–30%) and low radioactivity was produced. In the current year, it is planned to accomplish construction of a pilot plant for by-producing scandium at a solution flow rate of 200 m3/h and at the expected annual scandium output of 1.5 t. The next stage of the project will be production of scandium aluminum alloy.

keywords In-situ leaching, by-product, rare earth metals, sorption, extraction

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