Recently, a project using CO₂ (carbon dioxide) plus O₂ (oxygen) in-situ leaching for uranium mining, conducted by the Tongliao Uranium Company (attached to the China National Nuclear Corporation), was nominated for the 4th China Grand Award for Industry.
Approved by the State Council, the China Grand Award for Industry is China’s top award in the industrial sector. It aims to commend the industrial enterprises and projects that represent the highest level of China’s industrial development, and also to praise their outstanding contributions to enhancing comprehensive national strength and promoting the development of the national economy.
The project of CO₂ plus O₂ in-situ leaching uranium mining is China’s first self-developed, self-designed, and self-constructed 3rd generation mine, friendly to the environment. The project has successfully settled the difficulties of exploiting tons of the sandstone-type uranium, a low-grade, low-permeability, high-carbonate, and hyper-salinity resource in China.
The project has achieved the goal of economically exploiting “stagnant or lethargic mines” (mines that can hardly be exploited or utilized), with the features of low cost, less pollution, high-level automation, dramatically safe and eco-friendly, and so on.
The project has pioneered 12 crucial techniques and 10 licensed patents, and realized the unmanned exploitation of uranium mines, and the informanization and intelligence of mining and smelting. In this case, the industrial technology has reached an international advanced-level.