Features of in-situ leaching in the permafrost zone of the Khiagda ore field

The method of in-situ leaching (ISL) of uranium, used in the Khiagda ore field, requires continuous operation of production wells and the unimpeded flow of leaching and pregnant solutions. The low temperature of the leaching solutions in the ore-bearing horizons greatly affects viscosity and permeation rate of the solutions. For this reason, development of hydrogenous deposits in the permafrost zone results in significant technological in-situ losses of useful minerals. It is found that temperatures of leaching solutions vary from 4.2 to 20.1 °С in pumping wells and from 6.45 to 18.1 °С in settling ponds. One of the ways to increase the leaching efficiency is the local feed of sulfuric acid solutions to the zones of pumping wells. During operation of the wells, the thermal effect on frozen rocks becomes extremely intense and leads to the appearance of thermokarst in the near-wellbore space. After the well shutdown even for a short time, the presence of permafrost rocks with a thickness of up to 90 m can lead to the formation of ice plugs, deformation of casing pipes and to breakdown of pumping wells. The study into the permafrost zone behavior dynamics is also necessary to ensure the environmental safety of mining.

Keywords: geotechnology, uranium, well, leaching, filtration, zone, colmatation, productivity, recovery, cryolithozona.
For citation:

Verkhoturov A. G., Sabigatulin A. А., Zozulya A. M. Features of in-situ leaching in the permafrost zone of the Khiagda ore field. MIAB. Mining Inf. Anal. Bull. 2021;(3-2):37-46. [In Russ]. DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2021_32_0_37.

Acknowledgements:
Issue number: 3
Year: 2021
Page number: 37-46
ISBN: 0236-1493
UDK: 624.131.1:622.016.25(571.55)
DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2021_32_0_37
Article receipt date: 20.11.2020
Date of review receipt: 17.12.2020
Date of the editorial board′s decision on the article′s publishing: 10.02.2021
About authors:

Verkhoturov A. G.1, Assistant professor, Cand. Sci. (Geol. Mineral.), head of department Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, e-mail: : weral0606@yandex.ru;
Sabigatulin A. А.1, Graduate student, e-mail: ya.sabik1994@yandex.ru;
Zozulya A. M.1, Graduate student, e-mail:, mr.hunter.82@mail.ru;
1 Transbaikal State University, Chita, Russia.

 

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