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ArticleName Use of countercurrent two-stage leaching in the hydrometallurgical recovery of uranium, rare and non-ferrous metals
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2023.06.02
ArticleAuthor Tolkachev V. A., Maynikov D. V., Krylova O. K., Meshkov E. Yu.

VNIPIpromtekhnologii JSC, Moscow, Russia:

V. A. Tolkachev, Principal Specialist, Candidate of Technical Sciences
D. V. Maynikov, Head of Laboratory, Candidate of Technical Sciences, e-mail:
E. Yu. Meshkov, Head of Laboratory


Elkon MMP, Moscow, Russia:

O. K. Krylova, Principal Specialist


Today’s hydrometallurgy of rare and non-ferrous metals is seeing an increasing use of rebellious ores, the leaching of which is associated with a high consumption of reagents. Thus, the resulting commodity liquors have high residual concentrations of them, which affects the subsequent process stages bringing down the overall cost-effectiveness. In order to raise the recovery of precious components, it is recommended to use a two-stage countercurrent leaching process instead of a one-stage cocurrent one. This technique was widely used abroad in the 1970–1980s for hydrometallurgical recovery of uranium and concomitant metals. At the same time, it failed to find application in the domestic industry. Today, however, with the emergence of high-performance flocculants and modern high-performance filtering equipment, the relevance of the two-stage countercurrent leaching process for the Russian hydrometallurgy sector has increased. This paper describes the results of a laboratory study that looked at the use of two-stage countercurrent leaching process to recover copper, zinc, cobalt and molybdenum from a complex sulphide polymetallic concentrate produced in Central Kazakhstan and at the processing of uranium-vanadium ores of the Balasauskandyk deposit. The paper also describes the results of a study that looked at the recovery of manganese from pyrometallurgical waste by twostage countercurrent leaching. After the one-stage cocurrent leaching process had been replaced with the two-stage countercurrent leaching one when processing slags, the recovery of manganese into liquor rose from 45.35 to 56.50%, with the reagents consumption being the same. Analysis of literature and the obtained results suggest that the two-stage countercurrent leaching process could be efficiently used for processing of refractory ores. The authors note the relevance of examining the applicability of this technique to the carbonate uranium ores of Mine 6 developed by the Priargunsky Mining and Chemical Production Association PJSC.

keywords Countercurrent leaching, pressure leaching, uranium, manganese, vanadium, filtering, flocculants

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