SUNDANCE (WNE) — Strata Energy has been granted permission to use low pH mining solution at its in-situ uranium mine near Oshoto, a move that the company hopes will vastly improve recovery rates. Strata announced last week that the Department of Environmental Quality has approved an amendment to its Source Materials License.
DEQ approved an amendment to the company’s permit to mine in March. The two amendments together permit a change from the alkaline and oxidant solutions Strata was previously using, but which was meeting with limited success on the ore body at the Ross Uranium Mine.
A series of bench-scale tests performed in late 2017 showed that significantly more uranium could be recovered using low concentrations of sulfuric acid. Strata was given permission to perform a small-scale field trial as part of the DEQ’s consideration of the amendment request; preliminary data showed positive results.
According to a press release, the company will implement low pH operations in four progressive phases, the first of which is the field demonstration that commenced in December 2018.