Over the last half-century, uranium has become one of the most sought-after minerals on the planet. From energy to healthcare, this revolutionary substance has applications in a variety of industries. As such, let’s take a few moments to consider the uranium mining and extraction process as well as its immense value throughout the world.

How Is Uranium Mined?

5 Fascinating Facts About the World of Uranium Mining Uranium Core General Kinematics

Though it’s traditionally mined through open-pit or tunnel mining, uranium is also being recovered from sand, gravel, ocean waters, and through heap leaching. The most common recovery process is known as in-situ recovery (ISR) or in-situ leach mining (ISL) in which solutions are pumped into the ground, uranium deposits are broken up, and the resulting uranium is removed and processed.

Once recovered from a traditional mine, uranium ore is ground in a mill and then leached with a sulfuric acid mixture. ISR procedures skip the mashing step and instead move directly to the leaching phase.

Pure uranium is then sifted from the resulting product, washed, dried, pressed into what’s known as yellowcake and packaged for use.

Facts About Uranium and Uranium Mining

If you’ve never stopped to think about where this multi-purpose mineral comes from, here are a few facts about uranium mining.

1. Uranium is more common than gold, silver, and mercury, it just occurs in lower concentrations, typically about .1 to .2 percent.

2. Up until 2014, more uranium had been mined in Canada than any other country in the world – about ⅕ of the world total. Some mines have a potency of up to 20 percent.

3. Kazakhstan currently provides more than 20 percent of the world’s uranium.

4. In addition to its use as a source of near-limitless energy, uranium is also used to propel maritime vessels and to create healing medical isotopes.

5. Though more than 20 countries are actively extracting uranium, currently ten mines in six countries provide 85 percent of the world’s uranium.

Recent years have seen a decline in the popularity of uranium. However, as the United States moves toward energy independence, the US uranium industry believes that good things could be on the horizon.

Currently, international uranium suppliers are cutting production OPEC-style to cure a global supply glut. As technology improves, it’s believed that the popularity of uranium will improve again too.

General Kinematics: For All Your Mining Requirements

5 Fascinating Facts About the World of Uranium Mining Miner General Kinematics

When mining materials like uranium – precision and care are the most important aspects to consider. Since uranium occurs at such low densities, it takes a trained hand and the world’s best machinery to ensure success.

Whether you’re focused on extracting uranium, or your professional priorities involve safety, efficiency, and dependability – you can’t do better than the solutions provided by General Kinematics. Regardless of the challenges you’re facing, our expert staff and energy-efficient vibratory equipment can help deliver a viable solution.

Contact our technical experts today and see if we can engineer a solution that works for you.

Related Mining News

The Importance of Industrial Grinding Machines General Kinematics

The Importance of Industrial Grinding Machines

Material grinding (also called attrition milling) is the process by which materials are mechanically broken into fine granules, and it is an essential step in many industrial processes. Grinding machinery can be used to reduce the particulate size of various materials, but is most commonly recognized for its uses in the mining industry to extract […]

Read More
Streamlining Your Mining Operations General Kinematics

Streamlining Your Mining Operations

Streamlining is the process by which efficiency is improved through resource, time, or cost reduction, and productivity improvement. In general, streamlining may involve automating manual processes, increasing uptime, and reducing process redundancies and inefficiencies. Thus, streamlining may require capital purchases, changes to staffing levels or process flow, and complex statistical analyses. For mining operations in […]

Read More
The Largest and Deepest Mines in the World General Kinematics

The Largest and Deepest Mines in the World

Increasing the depths of existing mines allow miners to extract more valuable materials without the hassles of opening a new mine. As such, due to favorable conditions, including strong commodity prices for precious metals and the risk of inflation (which positively influences the previous metal market), there has been increasing interest in the development of […]

Read More