Initial data from core leach tests at the Phoenix in-situ recovery (ISR) project has established uranium concentrations that are up to four times the amount assumed in the prefeasibility study (PFS), dual-listed Denison Mines reports.
The test work returned concentrations of 13.5 g/ℓ to 39.8 g/ℓ, which compares with the previous metallurgical test work that supported a uranium concentration of 10 g/ℓ for the ISR processing plant design used in the PFS.
"The initial data from the core leach test shows that uranium can be recovered from intact core samples at a concentration that is significantly higher than the levels used in the PFS. The implications of a higher uranium concentration coming from the ISR wellfield are potentially significant – allowing the metallurgical team to explore various combinations of lixiviant parameters to optimize operating costs, and processing plant configurations to potentially reduce capital costs while maintaining the same level of annual uranium production,” Denison VP for operations David Bronkhorst explains.
The test work incorporated into the PFS included column leach and agitated leach tests, which led to the design of the Phoenix processing plant in the PFS based on a minimum of 10 g/ℓ uranium content in the uranium bearing solution expected to be recovered from the ISR wellfield.
The current metallurgical test programme has been designed to build upon the laboratory test data collected as part of the PFS.