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ARMZ officials talk about prospects of geotechnology implementation at the Holding Company’s facilities
On November 12-13, the Moscow State Mining University (MSMU) hosted the International Scientific Conference “Physical and Chemical Geotechnology” held under the auspices of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research. This event was organized by the MSMU and the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. The conference was devoted to discussion of development prospects of physical and chemical geotechnology as one of innovation areas in the mining industry.
The event included participation of employees from ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. (JSC Atomredmetzoloto), as well as from the companies operated by the Holding: JSC Dalur, JSC Khiagda, JSC VNIPIpromtechnologii, JSC OMCC and JSC Gornoe Uranium Mining Company.
Igor Zhilkin, First Deputy Director General – Chief Operating Officer of JSC Atomredmetzoloto, welcomed the Conference participants on behalf of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. He told them about current situation on the world’s natural uranium market and noted that in spite of a difficult external environment companies, using the in-situ leaching method, continue their sustainable development. “Among the Russian enterprises this is, first of all, JSC Dalur located in the Kurgan Region. For ARMZ Uranium Holding Co., it represents a kind of a platform for working out advanced concepts and new technologies, including experimental works on associated recovery of scandium, creation of an automated system for mining site management and others,” emphasized Igor Zhilkin. He said that the largest asset of ARMZ – Priargunsky Industrial Mining and Chemical Union – is also considering an opportunity of introducing geotechnology, since major ore field reserves have been already exhausted by the enterprise, while uranium content in remaining reserves is rather low. “At the moment, together with the Trans-Baikal University we proceeded to implementation of a large-scale project aimed at intensifying application of the Heap Leach technology and customizing the block in-situ leaching method to the enterprise’s requirements,” noted Igor Zhilkin.
Igor Solodov, Doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences, JSC Atomredmetzoloto Director for Innovations made a presentation on Methods for Intensifying Downhole In-Situ Leaching of Uranium. In his opinion, current situation on the uranium market prompts the development of geotechnology. Therefore, ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. will further strive to improve low-cost geotechnological methods of uranium extraction, e.g. downhole in-situ leaching, heap leaching and block in-situ leaching. According to Igor Solodov, share of uranium production by geotechnological methods at existing mines of the Holding Company’s facilities will increase from 25% to 60% by 2025.
All reports and materials presented at the Conference were published in the Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.