Uranium deposits of Mongolia, their exploration and mine development

  • Dorjyunden Altankhuyag Department of Strategic Policy and Planning, Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry, Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar 15160, Mongolia
  • Baldorj Baatartsogt Administration Department, Nuclear Energy Commission, Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar 17032, Mongolia
  • Batbold Munkhtur Department of Geology and Mining Policy Implementation and Coordination, Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry, Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar 15160, Mongolia
Keywords: Uranium metallogeny, classification, activity

Abstract

Most of the known uranium deposits in Mongolia are related to volcano-tectonic structures of the Late Mesozoic and permeable sandstone aquifers of terrigenous sedimentary rocks in Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic basins. A young uranium deposit has been recently discovered at the surface in Quaternary alluvial sediments. Uranium deposits are classified here according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) classification scheme. Beside of supergene and hydrothermal uranium discoveries, uranium mineralization can also be found in the Lower Cretaceous lignite seams, in Mesozoic alkaline intrusive rock related REE, Th, U enriched mineral systems and in metasomatic rocks, as well as in migmatites and pegmatites localized in Precambrian metamorphic rocks. Currently, no uranium can be produced in Mongolian facilities except pilot testing being done first. A pilot test was carried out at the Khairhan and Kharaat deposits in Mongolia and these experiments have demonstrated the ore to be amenable to acid leach (sulphuric acid) with the addition of an oxidizing agent. These tests confirmed that hydraulic control can be maintained and that the uranium solubilization and mobilization can be controlled. The results of the test were encouraging, with the well production rate, uranium concentration in produced solutions, chemical usage, and estimated uranium recovery all within ranges expected for normal commercial operations. There are a number of Mongolian uranium deposits are in the stage of mine development. The Government of Mongolia has approved the agreement of mine development of the Zuuvch ovoo and Dulaan uul deposits. Pilot testing on these deposits is underway and uranium will be extracted by in-situ leaching soon.

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Abstract
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PDF
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Published
2019-10-13
How to Cite
Altankhuyag, D., Baatartsogt, B., & Munkhtur, B. (2019). Uranium deposits of Mongolia, their exploration and mine development. Mongolian Geoscientist, (49), 50-57. https://doi.org/10.5564/mgs.v0i49.1227
Section
Review papers