this video, uranium is concentrated from its ore through a series of
precipitations, which eventually yields a form of Yellowcake, Uranyl Peroxide.
Please remember to take proper precautions when working with a radioactive heavy metal such as uranium and its salts. Gloves, eye protection, and a dust mask are necessary.
For processing, uranium ore is dissolved into hydrochloric acid, oxidized with bleach, precipitated with ammonia, filtered, leached with carbonate, filtered, neutralized with hydrochloric acid, precipitated with hydrogen peroxide, and filtered.
The uranium produced by this procedure could in no way be considered weapons-grade or enriched. The enrichment process requires millions of dollars in investment and is impossible for any entity short of a national government to produce.
This uranium maintains the isotopic ratio found within the earth's crust and is actually less radioactive than the ore from which it was processed due to the absence of more radioactive decay products of uranium, such as radium, protactinium, and other unstable nuclei produced by the spontaneous fission of U238.
Though ore chemistry varies by locality, this process is generalized for any uranium on an acid-soluble matrix.
Tom S Drolet has had a 42-year career in many phases of Energy Nuclear, Coal, Natural Gas, Geothermal, Distributed generation (all including Commercial aspects, R&D, Engineering, Operations and Consulting).
was at Chernobyl, Ukraine soon after the accident in 1986, at Three
Mile Island and has been on TV talking about Fukushima several times
since the earthquake/tsunami/accident. He has given over 75
presentations on Nuclear Energy.
URANIUM Equities' PhosEnergy process can produce uranium oxide for less than $US18 per pound, the Adelaide company says.
UEQ has just finished a pre-feasibility study for the PhosEnergy process, which extracts uranium as a by-product of phosphate fertiliser production.
The study found that a commercial production facility producing 880,000 pounds of uranium per year would cost $US156 million, including a $25.4 million contingency.
The $US18 cost is well below the current spot price of $US42 per pound.
Joint investor Cameco has now committed to the next phase of the project, putting in another $US4 million to take the project to the definitive feasibility study stage.
The investment will take Cameco's stake in the PhosEnergy project to 73 per cent, with UEQ holding the rest.
UEQ managing director Bryn Jones said the PFS was a great result following the successful demonstration plant test program in the US last year.
"This clearly indicates the robust nature of the process and its ability to produce uranium at a cash operating cost which would be well within the lowest cost quartile for uranium producers globally," Mr Jones said.
"The next phase of commercialisation is expected to comprise an on-site demonstration of the PhosEnergy process at the site of an existing phosphate producer in North America, and this phase will underpin a definitive feasibility study and enable us to address full scale commercialisation from the PhosEnergy process.
"The continued financial support of Cameco is indicative of not only the robustness of the PhosEnergy process the engineering completed to date but also the commercial opportunities represented."
UEQ is in discussions with phosphate producers to allow on-site demonstrations of the existing demonstration plant, and would need to strike a deal with a phosphate facility to take the project further.
"These commercial negotiations will consider the capital risk taken by both parties, the phosphate producer's appetite for exposure to the uranium market and the long mine life of phosphate projects, generally over 20 years," the company said.
"The initial focus for commercialisation is expected to be the phosphate fertiliser industry in the USA, where UEQ estimates there is an opportunity to recover approximately 6 million pounds of uranium per annum.
"The worldwide PhosEnergy production opportunity is in the region of 20 million pounds of uranium per annum."
UEQ stock was up 40.63 per cent in early trade to 4.5c, with 1.4 million shares traded.