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Sulphuric Acid on the WebTM Technical Manual DKL Engineering, Inc.

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Acid Plant Database March 31, 2020

Owner JSC Khiagda

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Bagdarin Village

Bauntovsky Evenk District

Republic of Buryatia 

Background 2008 - Became subsidiary of Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ). Uranium mining arm of state nuclear corporation Rosatom
Website www.khiagda.armz.ru
Plant -
Coordinates* 54° 26' 55" N 113° 35' 24" E (Region)
Type of Plant Sulphur Burning
Gas Source Elemental Sulphur
Plant Capacity 110,000 MTPA
324 MTPD
Emissions -
Status Operating
Year Built 2015
Technology -
Contractor Desmet Ballestra Italy/Intertest
Remarks Commercial production began May 2015
Pictures -

ARMZ Uranium Holding (formerly known as Atomredmetzoloto) is uranium production and geological exploration division of Atomenergoprom and ROSATOM. The company was established in 1992 to arrange mining of rare metals, zirconium and other elements used in the nuclear fuel cycle along with uranium. In 2007, ARMZ Uranium Holding became an authorized company of ROSATOM for production of uranium and associated minerals. At present, ARMZ operates all uranium mining facilities in Russia, and also controls more than 20% of uranium reserves in Kazakhstan, through its shares in joint ventures (Zarechnoye JV, Akbastau JV, Karatau JV). Thus, ROSATOM ranks second in the world as regards explored uranium reserves (about 583 000 t of uranium), taking into account its share in Russian-Kazakh joint ventures. As for uranium production, ARMZ was 5th in the world with its 3841 t of U mined in 2008. The 98% of ARMZ shares are owned by TVEL, an Atomenergopromcompany, and Atomenergoprom itself is a direct holder of 2% of the uranium holding.  ARMZ Uranium Holding mines natural uranium in Russia and other countries. For over 40 years, Priargunsky Industrial Mining and Chemical Union has been the principal natural uranium mining enterprise producing up to 90 % of domestic natural uranium. Two other Russian mining enterprises – open joint-stock companies Khiagda (Buryatia) and Dalur (Kurgan Region) have been increasing natural uranium production. The near-term plans of the holding include organization of natural uranium production at its four new enterprises: Elkon Mining and Metallurgical Plant and Lunnoye in Yakutia; Gornoye Uranium Mining Company and Olovskoye Mining and Chemical Company in Transbaikalia (all four are closed joint-stock companies).  The project of Elkon Mining and Metallurgical Plant stands alone in this list. ROSATOM is to develop one of the largest deposits of natural uranium in the world – Elkon uranium ore region which has uranium reserve of 319 K t (6% of global recoverable reserves). This large-scale project will be implemented with governmental support: South Yakutia Development Corporation was established to facilitate industry cluster development in the region.  The Elkon region development project will be partially financed from the Investment Fund of the Russian Federation.  ARMZ Uranium Holding has a wide uranium cooperation with other countries. Thus, it has initiated joint uranium exploration and mining projects in Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Namibia, Canada, Armenia and Ukraine.

JSC Khiahda is one of the most advanced assets of ARMZ Uranium Holding. It is located in the Bauntovskiy district of the Republic of Buryatia, in the centre of the Vitimskoye uranium-ore district, общий потенциал которого оцениваются более чем в 350 тыс.тонн урана. At present, the plant is operating the deposit of the Khiagda ore field. Preparation for development of Istochnoye and Vershinnoye deposits started.

Pilot-commercial uranium mining by in-situ leaching method began at deposits of the Khiagda ore field in 1999. Product solutions are processed in the final product — natural uranium concentrate (“yellow cake”). JSC Khiagda became part of ARMZ Uranium Holding in 2008 as part of the nuclear industry restructuring. 100% of plant’s shares belong to the parent company. 

As of today, the plant has all prerequisites for long-term progressive development. Apart from impressive mineral resources base, the plant has a powerful production potential – construction was completed, and the main building, sulphuric acid production plant are put into commercial operation, which in the near future will enable to build up the uranium mining level and reach full design capacity of 1800 uranium tons per annum.

In 2014, 442.6 uranium tons were produced.
References -
News September 8, 2015 - Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ) has opened a new sulfuric acid plant at the site of its subsidiary JSC Khiagda. The uranium mining arm of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, ARMZ said the plant is one of the biggest, most innovative projects it had undertaken.  Sulfuric acid is used in uranium production to dissolve uranium oxides."JSC Khiagda can safely be called a company of the future now," ARMZ general director Vladimir Verkhovtsev said at the launch of the new facility on 5 September. "Not only because it is built to the most modern technological level, but also because it will supply raw materials to the Russian nuclear industry for more than a hundred years. As we celebrate the Russian nuclear industry's 70th anniversary, here we are, literally at the very start of the entire chain, at a rich deposit, from which the whole industry derives and will derive its power and strength."JSC Khiagda is located in the Bauntovskiy district of the Republic of Buryatia, in the centre of the Vitimskoye uranium-ore district.The company's chief geologist, Andrey Gladyshev said the district has uranium resources that are currently estimated to be 350,000 tonnes, including 250,000 tonnes suitable for in-situ leaching. The Khiagdinskoye, Istochnoye, Vershinnoye, Tetrakhskoe, Dybrynskoe, Namaruskoe, Koretkondinskoye and Kolichikanskoe ores are all either under development or in the planning stage for development, he added.The new facility entered pilot operation in the summer of last year and in May this year received the go-ahead to start commercial operation. Documents are now being prepared, ARMZ said, for the construction of the second phase of the plant, which will include the storage of sodium nitrite.JSC Khiagda general director Alexey Dementiev said the new facility was the "main event" for the company this year. It will enable the "innovation and introduction of new technologies with large-scale economic impact," he said.Laying of the first foundation stone of the plant took place in March 2010. The general contractor for its construction was Russia's Intertest, together with Italian engineering group Desmet Ballestra, which ARMZ described as the "world leader" in sulfuric acid plant engineering.Verkhovtsev said that commissioning of the facility meant ARMZ could gradually increase its uranium production. "If in 2014 JSC Khiagda produced 442 tonnes of uranium, then in 2015 the volume of production of the finished product should reach 508 tonnes and by 2018 we plan to reach the design level of 1000 tonnes of uranium per year, and in the future to bring this up to 2000 tonnes per year," he said.

August 25, 2015 - Investment in sulphuric acid production and engineering utilities at Russia's Khiagda uranium mining company in Buryatia (part of uranium holding Atomredmetzoloto) has totalled RUB4bn ($57m), the holding said. Construction of the sulphuric acid workshop began in 2010 and equipment installation is now complete. Air compressors have been started and Italian engineering company Desmet Ballestra, which supplied the technology, has started adjustment activities. Commissioning is expected in September.  The design capacity of the workshop is 110,000t of sulphuric acid as sulphuric-acid monohydrate. The rated production capacity is 324t a day. Khiagda director general Alexei Dementiev says the shop will reach full production capacity by autumn. In 2014, Khiagda produced 442t of uranium (tU), and in 2015 production is expected to be 508 tU, increasing to the design level of 1000 tU a year a by 2018.  In June, Dementiev said Khiagda could raise uranium production to 1300t a year. The company is beginning to develop uranium deposits in the Vitimsky Uranium Region of Buryatia. According to government-funded exploration organisation Urangeo, to date the resource potential of Vitimsky region is estimated at 409,000t including the Khiagdinskoye deposit.

MTPD - Metric Tonne per Day           STPD - Short Ton per Day
MTPA - Metric Tonne per Annum      STPA - Short Ton per Annum
SA - Single Absorption
DA - Double Absorption

* Coordinates can be used to locate plant on Google Earth