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Construction and installation works in the shop of associated scandium extraction have been completed on the central production site of JSC Dalur
Commissioning of pilot plant has been started. The first batch of finished products – scandium oxide – is planned for issue in June 2017.
The project for extraction of associated scandium from productive solutions of uranium mining company has been implemented according to decision by Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation. Presence of scandium in Kurgan region at uranium deposits mined with downhole in-situ leaching has been known for a quite long period. At the first stage of project implementation in 2014, payable scope of the rare-earth element has been confirmed. Later, the leading Russian scientific and project institutes together with specialists of JSC Dalur and Uranium holding ARMZ has been developing the optimum process technology.
Project “Creation of High Technology Production of Aluminum-Scandium Master Alloys Using Downhole In-situ Leaching of Uranium” has won a contest for the right to receive grant within the state program “Science and Technologies Development” organized by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. The project has also been supported by the Government of Kurgan Region within the framework of creation of industrial park using potential of JSC Dalur.
“According to the developed program, productive solutions, containing both uranium and scandium, are pumped by submersible pumps from operational units and are sent to sorption processing. First, the sorption uranium recovery is carried out, then the solution is sent for scandium extraction. Special sorbing agents and methods for their regeneration has been developed to obtain scandium concentrate without radionuclide, ferrum and silicone impurities. Extraction treatment allows obtaining scandium oxide with 99.9% purity”, said Valery Smyshlyaev, the head of “Scandium” project.
Construction and installation works in the building existing on the production site of JSC Dalur has started in January. In three months the Dalspetsstroy company specialists has completed the full range of services associated with repair and preparation of premises for arrangement of irregular equipment. Pilot plant equipment comprising sorption columns, reactors for solution preparation and precipitation, pipelines, electric and pumping equipment, pressure filters, etc., have been manufactured on Novosibirsk plant Sibmashpolymer, and on UK and Germany plants.
Planned annual production after completion of commissioning is 1.5 tonnes of scandium oxide. This is a raw stock for production of 53 tonnes of aluminum-scandium master alloys to be used, in particular, in aviation and space production. The holding already has made arrangements for supply of the finished products with a range of companies.