Uzbekistan uses innovative tech in uranium, rare metal production
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 11
By Fikret Dolukhanov – Trend:
A new site has been opened at the Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combine (NMMC) in Uzbekistan, to increase uranium production, Uzbek media reported on Oct. 11.
According to the information, NMMC ranks seventh in the world in terms of uranium mining and production of uranium nitrous oxide.
“Taking into account the cost of uranium in the world market and our potential competitive advantages, the process engineers were tasked to find ways to reduce the cost of producing the main products. The launch of the new site, where they started to get the finished product, ammonium perrhenate (rhenium), was the solution to this issue. More than 9 billion soums were allocated for the construction of the facility,” Mashkhur Kurbonov, Head of the Geotechnological Mine No.4, said.
According to him, the technology applied at the site makes the project innovative.
“Ninety percent of the installed equipment was manufactured as part of the localization program. Thanks to the introduced innovations, it will be possible to produce chemical concentrates of rare earth metals such as yttrium, terbium, scandium,” he said.
Combine specialists have already begun the implementation of new well designs, effective environmentally friendly uranium oxidizers and devices for their dosing. Most of the innovative solutions are protected by patents of Uzbekistan.
“The main advantage of new technologies is reduced consumption of sulfuric acid, increased rate of mining and drastically reduced harmful effects of the in-situ leaching method on the environment, mainly on groundwater,” Oleg Petukhov, Deputy Head of the Central Research Laboratory of NMMC, said.
NMMC is the only operator in Uzbekistan engaged in extraction of uranium and export production of finished products in the form of uranium nitrous oxide. The mineral resource base of uranium production in Uzbekistan consists of 20 deposits and 10 prospective areas.
Follow the author on Twitter: @FDolukhanov