Characterization of cores from an in-situ recovery mined uranium deposit in Wyoming: Implications for post-mining restoration
In-situ recovery (ISR) of uranium (U) from sandstone-type roll-front deposits is a technology that involves the injection of solutions that consist of ground water fortified with oxygen and carbonate to promote the oxidative dissolution of U, which is pumped to recovery facilities located at the surface that capture the dissolved U and recycle the treated water. The ISR process alters the geochemical conditions in the subsurface creating conditions that are more favorable to the migration of uranium and other metals associated with the uranium deposit. There is a lack of clear understanding of the impact of ISR mining on the aquifer and host rocks of the post-mined site and the fate of residual U and other metals within the mined ore zone. We performed detailed petrographic, mineralogical, and geochemical analyses of several samples taken from about 7 m of core of the formerly the ISR-mined Smith Ranch–Highland uranium deposit in Wyoming. We show that previously mined cores contain significant residual uranium (U) present as coatings on pyrite and carbonaceous fragments. Coffinite was identified in three samples. Core samples with higher organic (> 1 wt.%) and clay (> 6–17 wt.%) contents yielded higher 234U/ 238U activity ratios (1.0–1.48) than those withmore »
- Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Earth and Environmental Sciences Div.
- Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Materials Science and Tech Div.
- Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). C-CDE: Chemical Diagnostics and Engineering.
- Cameca Resources Inc., Cheyenne, WY (United States)
- University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept of Earth and Planetary Science.
- Publication Date:
- OSTI Identifier:
- Grant/Contract Number:
- Published Article
- Journal Name:
- Chemical Geology
- Additional Journal Information:
- Journal Volume: 390; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0009-2541
- Research Org:
- Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
- Sponsoring Org:
- USDOE Office of Science (SC)
- Country of Publication:
- United States
- 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; uranium; pyrite; carbonaceous; in-situ recovery (ISR); post-mining; restoration
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