Selective separation of uraniumfromxenotime-bearing ferruginous sandstone of Southwestern Sinai, by using carbonate leaching

Author(s): N.A.Abd El Fattah, A.S.Al Shami, S.F.Mohamed, S.M.El Hady

Besides being a xenotime-bearing, the ferruginous sandstone of Southwestern Sinai and which belongs to the Adediya Formation of the Cambrian age has also been proven to be relatively uraniferous. A technological sample of this ore material has been collected from Wadi El Sahu area and was found to assay up to 15.43% RE2O3 and 0.071% U. The latter involves alkali agitation leaching of the ore material and where the studied optimum conditions includes 90 g/l Na2CO3 concentration, 30 g/l NaHCO3 concentration at a S/L ratio of 1/2 for 4 hrs agitation time at room temperature and using an ore grain size ground to -200 mesh. Under these conditions, a uraniumleaching efficiency of 97.2%has been obtained. From the obtained leach liquor, U was separated through two techniques; namely direct precipitation and a prior application of anion exchange resin.

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