In the global uranium mining and metallurgy industry field, the lack of cost-effective solution to determine the uranium ore grade (i.e. uranium content) of 320-T Ore Truck is a common issue, which leads to the problems such as difficult to differentiate ore from the waste rock, restriction of fine production and control, high ore dilution rate, sharp rise in production cost and so on. Therefore, the research and development of measuring equipment is the key to improving the hydrometallurgical production of uranium mine.
In 2017, inspired by the working principle of Customs container security inspection equipment, CGNPC Uranium Resources Co., Ltd formed a joint technical team with its affiliate Swakop Uranium, and put forward a bold idea of developing a “Portal” Truck Scanning Station by using the natural characteristics of uranium ore, that is, measuring the natural characteristics of ore transported by the truck through the scanning station to obtain the ore grade. With the support of CGN Begood Technology Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of CGN Nuclear Technology Development Co., Ltd., and East China Institute of Technology, a China’s famous university specializing in uranium mining, the team has successfully developed a “Portal” Truck Scanning Station through four years of continuous scientific research. The equipment realizes technical innovation in measurement accuracy, measurement method, calibration method, calibration algorithm: Firstly, the energy spectrum method is used for measurement, and the natural characteristics of uranium in ore are directly measured through the scanning station, which eliminates the interference of thorium in ore to the measurement results and improves the accuracy. Secondly, it adopts the dynamic measurement method of portal scanning, which can complete the uranium ore grade measurement when the ore transport truck passes through the scanning station, greatly improving the measurement efficiency. Thirdly, the “Ton Bag Packing” method is innovatively used for calibration, which effectively solves a series of problems such as difficult setting, difficult preservation and large loss of standard materials. Fourthly, the “2+3” point method is creatively used for forward calibration to minimize the overall measurement error without sacrificing the accuracy at the cut-off grade (150ppm).
In September 2021, CGN Husab Uranium Mine officially approved the use of three Portal Truck Scanning Stations to effectively measure the ore grade of 320-T Super- large Ore Truck. The production data by the end of November 2021shows that: it can remove waste rocks from the ore through the scanning station, the average uranium grade of the mined ore can be increased by about 10%, and it can get the ore further by screening the waste rock area, which solves the problem of screening Husab Uranium Mine ore and waste rocks and improves the quality of the mined ore. After putting into operation, it is expected to generate benefits of more than 60 million US dollars per year, effectively reduce the production cost of Husab Uranium Mine, and it provides the world uranium mining and metallurgy industry with a cost-effective CGN solution for determining the Uranium Ore Grade of 320-T Super-large Ore Truck.