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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: January 8th 2010


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:: Front End Engineering Design for Rand Uranium

Bateman Engineering Projects (part of the Bateman Engineering Group) is undertaking the front end engineering design work for Rand Uranium (Pty) Ltd’s Cooke Uranium project to establish a 450,000 t/yr processing plant for treating tailings and underground ore. The work is being undertaken as an extension to the recently completed definitive feasibility study conducted by Bateman Engineering Projects, the contract for which Rand Uranium extended to include a front end engineering design phase.

The processing plant is to be situated close to Randfontein, South Africa and will make use of well proven technology to extract uranium from tailings reclaimed from the existing Cooke Dump. This 89 million ton tailings storage facility has served the Cooke Gold Plant since 1976. Site construction is envisaged to start in the third quarter of 2010.

Bateman Engineering Projects was also responsible for the four month pre-feasibility study concluded at the end of 2008.

The Bateman Engineering Group has an extensive track record in the design and construction of uranium processing plants dating back to the 1950s. With the revival of the uranium industry early in the 2000s, following years of stagnation, South Africa saw its first greenfields uranium processing plant in several decades with Uranium One’s Dominion Reefs project being awarded to Bateman Engineering.

Bateman Engineering has also undertaken work for Rössing Uranium in recent years, having designed a horizontal belt-filter circuit to replace existing plant, and having provided a radiometric ore sorting plant to that operation earlier. Other recent uranium-related work includes engineering for an alkaline pressure leaching system for the Indian government, the company’s second application of pressure leaching technology for uranium. Studies have also been conducted for Harmony, where it is looking at a high tonnage operation covering three mines in the Free State and for PepinNini Curnamona Management Pty Limited to assess the feasibility of the Crocker Well Uranium Project in Australia.

In a current EPCM project, the percolation of leachate for mineral extraction is being pioneered on Areva’s low grade uranium deposits at Trekkopjie in Namibia. Bateman Engineering is currently closing out the heap leach project at Trekkopjie for the midi (three million ton leach pad).




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