|Palangana ("Bowl" in Spanish) first commenced production in 1976 as a 50 gpm mobile pilot operation while
the commerical production facility was being constructed. The project was located inside a salt dome depression 6 miles north of Benavides, TX
in Duval County. The Ion Exchange (IX) Columns were multi-stage, upflow
Bureau of Mines design. Loaded IX resin was pneumatically transferred to a stripping column where the uranium product was
This operation initially used ammonium carbonate (ph > 9.0) as the complexing agent, but later conversion to sodium carbonate
The plant was designed to operate at low flowrates (>600 gpm) and high feed grades (>300 mg/l U3O8
which was later to prove ineffective.
The wellfield patterns used were exclusively 5 spot patterns during this early evolutionary stage of this new mining technique. "Push-Pull" flow (60,000 gallons injected immediately followed by 60,000 gallons produced from the same well) was employed for the first several years which later progressed to line-drive flow between adjacent wells.
This project was acquired by Chevron in 1980 and eventually was restored and reclaimed in the early 1990s.
|Click on image to enlarge
Palangana Commerical Plant