Press center menu
R&D of Rosatom’s mining arm at its best
Rosatom’s mining arm summarized the results of implementation of the “Programme for Innovative Development of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. until 2020”, during the period from 2011 to 2014. Over this period, 14 projects were fulfilled to the total amount of 96.4 mln rubles. Noteworthy, their payback period equals 1–3.5 years, while economic effect exceeds the incurred costs by the factor of 2.4.
Igor Solodov, Director for Innovative and Technological Development Programmes of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co., Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences comments: “We pay special attention to the development of innovative technologies. Not only do we improve our production capacities, but we also work on reducing production costs under conditions of unfavourable market environment. The main objective is to enhance efficiency of natural uranium production.
The majority of R&D works were aimed at cutting operational expenditures incurred by the industry’s largest uranium mining enterprise, JSC PIMCU.”
One of the most important projects involves final extraction of uranium reserves from the bottom of the Tulukui quarry by low-cost geotechnological methods. This project applies a wide array of technologies for processing low-grade and non-commercial raw materials. Also, an ore preparation facility was commissioned. All this helps to extend the enterprise’s resource base, reduce end-product prime cost and commence reclamation of soil surface and the Tulukui quarry. Economic benefit to be gained from implementation of this project is expected to exceed 100 mln rubles.
So far, JSC PIMCU almost halved its expenses for manganese dioxide, a chemical agent used at JSC PIMCU’s hydrometallurgy plant. Such significant economy was achieved as a result of implementation of the R&D Project to Improve Technology for Agitation Recovery of Uranium Ores.
Scientific and research works within the framework of the project to create a geodynamical test site (GTS) within the Streltsovskoye ore field, being developed by JSC PIMCU, completed. Main components of the geodynamical test site system were put into pilot industrial operation. The geodynamical test site is a multi-layer complex of scientific, methodical and technical tools for monitoring, forecasting and preventing geodynamical processes in the area, where deposits of the Streltsovskoye ore field are being developed. The system is aimed at ensuring and enhancing safety of underground mining activities carried out at JSC PIMCU’s mines.
The enterprises that carry out mining operations by in-situ leaching technology demonstrated a multifold increase in their efficiency. JSC Dalur successfully introduced a system for creating a 3D model of ore deposits, using computer and information technologies. It helped to enhance the accuracy of reserve calculation, as well as the quality of operational block design. Since last year, a complex of computer technologies has been applied in the Khiagdinskoye field.
Another pilot project tested at JSC Dalur is expected to significantly increase the quality of uranium. An innovative drying system for end product, yellow cake, makes it possible to decrease moisture content from 40% to 2%, which complies with the international quality standard.
Primary contractors engaged by ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. include the industry’s field-oriented institute, VNIPIpromtechnologii, specializing in design development in the area of uranium mining and processing; the Seversky Institute of Technology – branch of National Research Nuclear University MEPhI; and the Holding Company's long-lasting partner – the Leading Scientific-Research Institute of Chemical Technology (JSC VNIIKhT).
Analysis of R&D works implemented by Rosatom’s mining arm during the reporting period was approved by Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation and was recommended to serve as an example for all enterprises across the industry.