Étude multi-échelle de l’agglomération pour la lixiviation en tas de minerais uranifères

Abstract : Heap leaching allows processing low grade ores. Basically, this industrial mining process consists in percolating a leaching solution slowly down through an ore heap of 6 to 9 meters high to extract the metals of interest. However, fine particles and clays are often the cause of clogging within heaps, leading to a decrease of leaching efficiency. To solve this problem, copper, nickel and uranium industry uses agglomeration of the ore particles. This process allows adjusting the particle size distribution by gathering fine particles. However uranium-ore agglomeration and the impact of the agglomerates structure on heap leaching remains poorly understood. The current thesis allowed characterizing structural and petrophysical properties of agglomerates and its evolution during leaching, studying the influence of agglomeration conditions on agglomerates structures and finally upscaling there results at the heap scale, using meter scale columns. Clogging phenomena were especially due to the mechanical degradation of agglomerates, causing a decrease of both heap porosity and permeability
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Emerence Hoummady. Étude multi-échelle de l’agglomération pour la lixiviation en tas de minerais uranifères. Sciences de la Terre. Université de Lorraine, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017LORR0271⟩. ⟨tel-01908704⟩

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