|Click on images to enlarge
Czech Drilling Rig
Aerial View of Straz
Diamo's ISL processing facility is located in north central Czech Republic (Northern Bohemia) within 30 kilometers of the German/Poland border.
It is a state enterprise. Pilot plant operations began in 1967 with solution mining being confined to the Straz Deposit at
depths ranging between 200 and 250 meters. The wellfields comprise an area of 6,500,000 m2, or approximately
1,625 acres. Sulfuric acid was used extensively to mine the ore using nitrate as the oxidizer. The ore body was located within a drinking water aquifer. This facility was the largest
uranium mining operation in Europe. Many technological advancements were developed on this site. Presently it is undergoing groundwater restoration.
Bewteen 1967 and 1993 a total of 29,670,000 lbs. of U3O8 were recovered. Uranium was complexed as an uranyl sulphate and loaded onto strong anion resins that were subsequently stripped with a solution of ammonia nitrate and nitric acid. The resulting recovered soluble uranium was precipiated with ammonia.
In retrospect only 55% of the reserves were recovered despite the harsh acid leaching conditions. Over 4,100,000 tons of H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), 270,000 tons of HNO3 (nitric acid), 100,000 tons of NH3 (ammonia), and 25,000 tons of HF (hydrofloric acid) were consumed by the mine. The addition of these solutions created an over balance of solution volume within the reservoir.
Sources: "Reports Prepared for the International Atomic Energy Agency during 1992 - 1994" I toured this facility, along with other IAEA experts, on a trip to Vienna in 1999 to become informed with how the Soviets laid waste to the environment. Something that we (US Uranium Mining Industry) have knowingly avoided with our ISL technologies.