Autoclaves in uranium leach flowsheets

Autoclaves, allowing very high leaching temperatures, can therefore be considered as a possible answer to increase recoveries, resulting in higher returns on investment. This paper investigates the use of autoclaves in uranium leach flowsheets, by considering two case studies. One of the studies is of an acid leach and the other of an alkaline leach. Both feeds are considered as refractory type of ores and the increased recoveries justifies the use of pressure leaching.

Although uranium leaching using autoclaves were traditionally reserved for refractory ores, the increase in reagent costs are resulting in new developments in uranium leaching flowsheets that could possibly benefit from autoclaves. These new generation flowsheets, currently under development, are also discussed.
autoclaves in uranium leach flowsheets