Informatisation Systems for ISR Mines

    Published on April 14th, 2020

    CSA Global congratulates first author, Principal Consultant, 1Maxim Seredkin, and authors 2Mikhail Noskov, 3Alexander Boytsov, 4Igor Solodov on their recently accepted technical paper: ‘Informatisation Systems for ISR Mines.’

    Dr Seredkin will present at ALTA 2020 between 7-14 November in Perth, Western Australia.

    Abstract

    In-situ recovery (ISR) transfers hydrometallurgical processing of mineralised bodies to the subsurface to directly obtain solutions of commodities. As a result, there is little surface disturbance. For ISR to be successful, however, deposits need to be permeable. Furthermore, commodities need to be readily amenable to dissolution by leaching solutions over a reasonable period, with an acceptable consumption of leaching reagents.

    ISR is a “hidden” extraction process and development of an informatisation system allows the process to be more predictable and controlled. Informatisation systems are used at various ISR mines, including Beverley, Kazatomprom and others.

    In 2010, the authors developed the Strategic Conceptual Project for informatisation of all ARMZ Holding mines, including the Dalur and Khiagda ISR uranium mines. The identified strategic directions were developed by two teams over the last nine years.

    The methodology for geological / resource modelling of sandstone-type deposits for extraction by ISR was developed by CSA Global (Seredkin, 2018). The methodology was based on modelling morphological elements of roll front mineralisation (noses, wings, residual parts), horizons / interbeds of impermeable sediments, the variability of permeability, and estimation of grade-thickness parameters for mineralised bodies. The resulting geological / resource models allow the preparation of the mine schedule and cash flow model for the ISR project, in addition to an assessment of the economic sensitivities.

    Software for modelling hydrodynamic, physico-chemical and operation models/parameters was developed by the National Research Nuclear University with methodological support from ARMZ Holding. This software includes the following modules: geological modelling based on operation wells, collection of initial operational data, hydrodynamic and physico-chemical modelling (core module), and economic analytical and forecast.

    The module for geological modelling allows a quick update of the geological model based on the exploration grid after getting data from operation wells.

    The module for the collection of initial operational data allows the creation of a database for the primary data from regular periods from wells, pipes and the plant. The data includes the volume of leaching and pregnant solutions, concentration and consumption of leaching reagents, and concentration of uranium and other components.

    The module for physico-chemical modelling allows the preparation of an operating model for each period of the ISR process based on the geological model and operational data database.

    The economic analysis and forecast modules are focused on forecasting the ISR process and making informed decisions to optimise injection/pumping solutions, and concentrations of leaching reagents.

    In summary, an informatisation system has been developed for modelling and optimisation of the ISR process, which includes emerging technologies similar to big data and artificial intelligence.

    Author

    Maxim Seredkin
    Principal Consultant

    Dr Seredkin has more than 18 years’ experience in exploration, mining production and resource estimation. He has experience in a range of commodities and reporting codes (including JORC and NI43-101). Maxim is particularly sought after in industry and academia for his expertise in uranium, he has in-depth experience across a range of geological settings and deposit types. He has specialist skills in the application of in-situ recovery for uranium extraction based on 5 years of direct operational experience. In addition to uranium expertise, Maxim has experience in bauxite, rare earths and iron ore. Maxim has a strong scientific background, with research experience in ore genesis, petrology and the mineralisation of carbonatite, alkaline and ultramafic complexes, in hydrothermal-metasomatic gold and tungsten deposits.

    1CSA Global Pty Ltd, Australia

    2National Research Nuclear University, Russian Federation

    3TENEX, Russian Federation

    4ARMZ Holding, Russian Federation

     

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