Recent Changes in ERA - Ranger Mine Acid Leach Circuit
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1994
The ERA - Ranger Mine ore processing operation consists of a sulphuric acid leach followed by counter current decantation and solvent extraction circuits. The most expensive unit processing operation at Ranger is the sulphuric acid leach. In 1992 and 1993 changes were made to the operation of the leach circuit. These changes have reduced power and reagent consumption in leach by 30 per cent and 20 per cent respectively with minimal effect on extraction efficiency. The first change was to operate the leach circuits at higher pHs than previously attempted. In addition a cap was placed on the amount of acid added to the leach circuit. Secondly, an on-line pH measurement system was installed and has reduced the variation with time of the leach circuit pHs. Finally, the number of leach vessels used was reduced from ten to seven. This action was undertaken after an examination of the uranium profile and the residence time in the leach circuit from previous years. This paper examines the above changes and assesses their effectiveness on plant performance and costs.