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ARMZ Uranium Holding Co.: Target on Extraction of Natural Uranium Hit
In 2018, 2,904.2 tons of uranium was extracted, which corresponds to the level of the previous year. At the same time, we should note that against the background of a decrease in production by the old mining method, the share of production by an environmentally friendly and safe method of in-situ leaching (ISL) is growing. That is why the decrease in PIMCU, PJSC production volume is compensated by the increase in production at Khiagda, JSC (+24%), which today is rated as the most promising asset of ARMZ. In order to maintain production volumes and implement the ARMZ mid-term strategy in different regions of the country, work was continued on preparing new uranium deposits for operation: engineering surveys were completed at the Kolichikan and Dybryn deposits in the Republic of Buryatia; design and exploration work is being carried out at the Dobrovolnoye deposit in the Kurgan region. In 2018, public hearings were held on the files of the environmental impact assessment project, as a result of which local residents supported the development of the Dobrovolnoye deposit by ISL method.
The most important result of the year was the start of construction of new uranium Mine No. 6 on the basis of the Argun and Zherlovoye deposit in Trans-Baikal Territory, which will have enough reserves to ensure stable operation of E.P. Slavsky PIMCU, PJSC and residents of Krasnokamensk for many decades. The construction program for 2018 has been fully implemented. The construction of high-priority infrastructure facilities — the main downstream substation, power lines, access roads was completed; the construction of a complex of mine water treatment facilities began.
As part of the implementation of Rosatom’s unified digital strategy, on the basis of Khiagda, JSC, a smart mine — intellectual production, including the technologies of the 4th industrial revolution — was put into operation. The project efficiency is planned to be evaluated this year. Elements of the smart mine were also introduced at Dalur, JSC. For the first time in the world, computer-aided environmental modeling was used at the uranium mining enterprise, which makes it possible to predict the environmental impact of the field operation with maximum accuracy.
The portfolio of diversification projects is focused on the application of competences in mining and processing of solid minerals. In 2018, the experts of Dalur, JSC developed and patented a unique technology of associated extraction of scandium — a product of high purity. Interest in it was shown by large Russian and foreign companies, whose representatives visited the enterprise and were given a chance to study the production process. In 2019, we plan to increase the volume of finished products and obtain the status of a certified supplier for these companies.
The design of the Pavlovsky mining and processing plant on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago (production of lead and zinc), operated by The First Ore Mining Company, JSC, is in the final stage. The technology of smelting of ferrosilicon from production wastes was tested on the basis of PIMCU, PJSC. Projects are being developed for the extraction of gold, lithium and other metals.
The year 2018 was marked by two important events: the 50th anniversary of E.P. Slavsky PIMCU, PJSC and the 120th anniversary of the head of the Ministry of Medium Machine-Building, E.P. Slavsky. PIMCU celebrated the anniversary as the flagship of domestic uranium mining, which for half a century reliably and timely supplies uranium to Russia. For success in work, high production rates, and also in relation to the 50th anniversary, for the first time in the history of the nuclear industry, the company was named after the great E.P. Slavsky. Efim Pavlovich founded and annually visited PIMCU: his contribution to the establishment and development of the nuclear industry’s primary branch was perpetuated in a book that the uranium holding issued specifically for the 120th anniversary of the Minister.