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Dalur Completed Elaborating Aluminum-Scandium Ligature Production Process
Ligature melting demonstration took place today at the central production site of the enterprise in the Uksyanskoe village, Dalmatovsky District, Kurgan Region. The guests of the production facility were representatives of the Department of Economic Development of the Government of the Trans-Urals, the Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the authorities of the Dalmatovsky District. What was happening in the workshop was demonstrated in the conference hall of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. in Moscow in the online mode.
The uranium mining enterprise project for the associated scandium recovery from the product solutions is being implemented on the basis of a decision by ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation. The presence of scandium in uranium deposits of the Kurgan Region being mined by in-situ leaching has been known for a long time. At the first stage of the project implementation in 2014, the commercial content of the rare-earth element was confirmed. Then, leading Russian scientific and design institutes, together with specialists from Dalur, JSC and ARMZ Uranium Holding Co., developed the optimal process. In 2017, a pilot unit was launched.
«Product solutions, which contain both uranium and scandium, are pumped out from the production blocks by submersible pumps and sent to sorption processing. First, sorption extraction of uranium occurs, then the solution is sent to extract scandium. Special sorbents and methods for their regeneration were selected in order to obtain a scandium concentrate without admixtures of radionuclides, iron and silicon. Solvent refining of the primary concentrate helps to obtain scandium oxide with a purity of 99.9%. The use of another process patented by us made it possible to organize the production of another high-tech product from the primary concentrate: aluminum-scandium ligatures,» says Nikolay Poponin, Director General of Dalur, JSC. The «Creation of a high-tech facility for aluminum-scandium ligature production using uranium in-situ leaching products» project won the competition of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation for the right to receive a subsidy under the «Development of Science and Technology» state program. The process itself was developed by specialists of Dalur, JSC together with scientists from the Ural Federal University.
All scandium processing products made by the enterprise fully comply with the requirements of the aerospace industry and mechanical engineering. According to Nikolay Poponin, the entire volume of high-tech products, which will be produced over the next four years, has already been contracted. The design capacity of the aluminum-scandium ligature production workshop is 50 tons a year.