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Research Article Open Access

Column Percolation Leaching of Uranium from El-Sela Area, South Eastern Desert, Egypt


El-Sela shear zone occurs in the younger granite rock of Gabal El-Sela area, South Eastern Desert, Egypt near the Sudan Frontier. It comprises line–arranged intrusions trending ENE-WSW and extend for about 1.5 km with width reaches up to 40 meter. These line–arranged intrusions include altered microgranite dyke, altered basic dyke and multi-phase quartz vein. Uraniferous mineralization was subjected to sulphuric acid column leaching for the leaching and recovery of uranium. Column leaching tests were performed to study the general leaching parameters of uranium from the obtained mineralization. The later include the grain size, acid concentration, height of mineralization load on column and the overall solution flow rate. The leaching process of the mineralization from El-Sela was conducted with the columns being charged with 120 kg mineralized sample with an average uranium content 0.14%. Results showed that uranium leaching rate calculated by uranium concentration on uranium pregnant solutions was about 81.03% in 38 days of test. Uranium from the obtained leach liquor was achieved by using anion-exchange method followed by later elution by using acidified sodium chloride solution. Finally, uranium precipitation from the eluted solution was performed using sodium hydroxide solution. A case study is provided of how the results from batch column tests, were used to optimize the acid leaching and recovery of uranium from the studied mineralization to be applied in large scale using vat leaching technique.

Nagar MS, Shahin HA and Bahige M

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