The Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of Argentina Dr. Lino Barañao, PhD in Chemistry, visited the Karatau LLP, joint Russian-Kazakhstan venture located in Kazakhstan.
During the visit to Karatau mine effective technologies and best practices of Uranium One (international mining division of Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation) in the extraction of natural uranium by in situ recovery (ISR) method have been presented to Mr. Barañao. He also visited a wellfield site of the mine, the workshop for the processing of pregnant solutions and the physical and chemical lab of the enterprise.
"This high-level visit opens up new horizons for cooperation with Argentina," said Vasily Konstantinov, President of Uranium One Group, "This country has promising resources suitable for in situ recovery, and we were pleased to present our experience in producing natural uranium by a progressive and safe ISR mining technology to Argentinean colleagues."
Unlike the traditional extraction method (extracting ore from the subsoil, its shattering and processing) with ISR uranium ore remains in place. Leaching reagent is pumped through the ore via well system, followed by extracting of the uranium-containing solution to the surface, where it is subsequently processed to obtain the final product, yellow cake or triuranium octoxide. When using ISR the surface remains almost intact, there is no tailings or waste rock and the groundwater condition restores to its initial state. This method is much more economically efficient and environmentally preferable as compared to open-pit or underground uranium mining method.
Karatau LLP is a joint venture of Kazatomprom National Atomic Company and Uranium One Inc., which extracts uranium using in situ recovery method at the Budenovskoye deposit in the South Kazakhstan region of the Republic of Kazakhstan.