A Proposed Method, Using Bacteria, for the Continuous Leaching of a Uranium Ore

CIM Bulletin, 1969

H. H. McCREEDY, Research Scientist, V. F. HARRISON, Research Scientist, W. A. GOW, Head, Hydrometallurgy Section, Extraction Metallurgy Division, Mines Branch, Dept. of Energy, Mines and Resources, Ottawa, Ontario

A semi-continuous bench-scale, countercurrent-decantation system, in which the ore was moved countercurrently to the flow of Jeaching solution, was used to conduct acidleaching tests on uranium ore with the aid of bacteria. This method, which involved a low degree of agitation, was successfully applied to extract uranium in practical amounts and at practical rates. The acidity of the leaching solution was the main variable investigated in the benchscale tests done at the Mines Branch, Ottawa. Over 90 11er cent of the uranium was extracted in a six-stage system. The results suggest that this technique could be applied in the utilization of bacterial oxidation and leaching as a method for treating Elliot Lake uranium ore.
Keywords: Application of Bacterial Leaching, Chemoautotrophic Iron Bacterium Ferrobacillus Ferrooxidans, Elliot Lake Uranium Ore, Underground Leaching, Bacteria, Elliot Lake, leaching, Ore, Ores, pH, Systems, uranium