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ROSATOM’s Mining Division: 1st in Russia to Start «Digital» Uranium Mining
Innovative intellectual technology for managing the development of uranium deposits using the in-situ leaching method was created by experts of the Mining division of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation together with scientists from the Seversk Technological Institute of the NRNU MEPhI. The implementation of the project, which is part of the unified digital strategy of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation and included in the package of digital products of the State Corporation, will improve the productivity and economic efficiency of production.
Management of all technological processes at the enterprise is carried out from the main control room. The operator sees on the screens of the monitors all production processes occurring in the main building, in the sulfuric acid shop, in the local sorption unit, in the in-situ leaching site. «We see the site structure, that is, the well and piping, we see the flows that we feed into the subsoil, their movement, the volume of solution that we lift to the surface. That is, now we can manage the technology at a depth of 400 m, fully control all the processes occurring in the ore body,» explained Anatoly Mikhailov, Chief Engineer of Khiagda, JSC.
The software complexes will help the enterprise to reliably assess the mining and geological situation on developed sites of the field, simulate the options of development, conduct accurate analysis of performed work, and promptly make decisions in the analysis and forecast of field development, geological modeling and planning. According to Andrey Gladyshev, Director General of Khiagda, JSC, as early as at the preliminary stage of the project implementation, the company was able to significantly optimize the schemes of making access to the ore bodies, and reduce the cost of mining and operating the site. «The system is already helping us to carry out the forecast and timely implementation of repair and restoration works, and therefore reduce the costs of maintenance of the production complex. We bring the processing of geological and geotechnological data to full automation, providing prompt access to any geotechnological information and now we will be able to calculate and maintain the optimal modes of production block development,» he emphasized.
For the first time in the world, as part of the «Smart Site» project, computer modeling was used to assess the state and forecast changes in the environmental situation in the area of direct anthropogenic impact on aquifers; the modeling was developed by experts of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. and Seversk Technological Institute of the NRNU MEPhI«. «Today environmental issues are global. Mining industry is a strong sector of the Russian economy; however, local communities are concerned about environmental pollution. Due to the smart technologies, we know exactly how solutions will behave in geological environment. This allows us to guarantee safe mining and preservation of the ecosystem,» said Mikhail Noskov, Deputy Head of the Seversk Technological Institute of the NRNU MEPhI.
In the future, the Smart Site options will be implemented at other deposits of Khiagda ore field, developed by Khiagda, JSC, as well as at Dalur, JSC (subsidiary of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co.), a strategic metal mining company in the Kurgan region. ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. is one of the first in the world to introduce smart technologies at all stages of technological processes from uranium exploration and mining to elimination of in-situ leaching mines. Our task is to improve production, increase its competitiveness with the help of modern IT technologies, and, most importantly, make it safe for the environment," emphasized Roman Rudin, Project Monitor, representative of the IT Directorate of Atomredmetzoloto, JSC.