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MEI Online: Hydrometallurgy: Latest News: March 28th 2014


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:: Samphire Project Metalurgical Developments


UraniumSA Limited is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lanxess Pty Ltd the Australian wholly owned subsidiary of international chemical company and ion exchange specialist LANXESS AG.

Under the MOU, the companies will collaborate to test the suitability of LANXESS ion exchange resin in a new application to extract uranium from acidified saline solutions expected to be produced at UraniumSA’s flagship Samphire uranium project south of Whyalla on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

USA commenced research and development work on the extraction of uranium from saline solutions in 2010 and subsequently identified 9 resins from 6 commercial suppliers which warranted evaluation. Test work carried out for USA by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) using mineralization from its Samphire project uranium deposits confirmed the suitability of 4 of the resins for potential commercial use. One of the 4 resins was supplied by LANXESS.

The resin supplied by LANXESS offers the opportunity to develop a novel process, with unique product purity and low chemical demand. This offers the potential for significantly improved economics by reducing the cost of production.

UraniumSA Acting CEO David Paterson “We are very pleased to be associated with LANXESS as it advances the evaluation of its ion exchange resin for this new application of extraction and recovery of uranium from high saline acidic solutions. The establishment of this additional relationship is a successful next step in the realization of UraniumSA’s research and development objective of achieving the successful commercial extraction of uranium from saline formation waters.

Simon Hall, Metallurgy Manager of UraniumSA, has enjoyed a successful collaboration with LANXESS in our investigation of saline tolerant resins, and we now look forward to working with them to investigate the commercial application of their resin."

Metallurgical Testwork - Ian Wark Research Institute - University of SA

UraniumSA has previously announced a $50,000 grant from the SA Government. Work has commenced in collaboration with the respected University of South Australia’s Ian Wark Research Institute and will be completed over the next 3 - 4 months.

The study will focus on finding a more efficient process for the removal and recovery of uranium from saline leach solutions and advance UraniumSA’s existing data and process understanding.

The SA Government grant will enable more extensive lock cycle testing and will involve separation and purification processes using three different ion exchange resins ( including the Lanxess AG resin referred to above) to determine the most favourable technique to extract uranium from hyper-saline leach solutions.




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