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

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Acid Plant Database September 12, 2011

Owner JSC Priargunsky Industrial Mining and Chemical Union (PIMCU)

ARMZ-Priargunsky-logo.jpg (76398 bytes)  ARMZ-Logo.jpg (5062 bytes)


Krasnokamensk City
Chita Region
Russia  674673

Background 2003 - TVEL www.tvel.ru takes 83% ownership
2007 JSC Atomic Energy Power Corporation (Atomengoprom) www.atomenergoprom.ru formed by government
Website www.priargunsky.armz.ru  
Plant -
Coordinates* -
Type of Plant Sulphur Burning
Gas Source Elemental Sulphur
Plant Capacity 500 STPD
Emissions -
Status Operating
Year Built 2009
Technology MECS
Contractor Desmet Ballestra Italy
Remarks New plant replaces original plant built in 1976
Reported cost of sulphuric acid plant: US$30 million
Pictures ARMZ-2.jpg (51561 bytes)   ARMZ-3.bmp (1267814 bytes)

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.

Revised - JSC Atomenergoprom (AEP) is a Russian state vertical integrated company (currently in the process of organization), which will unite 89 enterprises of the nuclear industry. Atomenergoprom provides full production cycle of nuclear power engineering - from uranium production to nuclear power plant construction and energy generation. AEP already includes such large companies as Concern Enrgoatom (#2 in the world by nuclear electricity generation)  TVEL (17% of the world nuclear fuel market), TENEX (40% of the world uranium enrichment services market). The company formation is expected to be completed by the end of 2009. 100% of JSC Atomenergoprom is controlled by Rosatom State Nuclear Power Corporation.   AEP was established in order to consolidate the assets of the civilian part of the Russian nuclear industry which has a history of over 60 years. It has absorbed the unique experience accumulated across the whole range of technologies of nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear power plant construction. This huge experience is the basis of Atomenergoprom leadership in the world market of nuclear technologies.

Flagship of the Russian uranium-mining industry, Priargunsky is one of the largest uranium-mining companies in the world. Its cumulative production of uranium over 40 years of operation (exceeding 130 000 tons) sets it apart as a unique enterprise, virtually without parallel in the world. Apart from uranium, it mines manganese ore, zeolites, limestone, and brown coal, in addition to producing electrical and thermal energy, sulfuric acid, and engineering products. The town of Krasnokamensk, with a population of 60 000, was founded around Priargunsky.  Uranium is mined at Streltsovskoye ore field deposits, and the ore is subsequently processed at a hydrometallurgical plant.  In 2008, the mine produced 3 050 tons of uranium, which exceeds the totals for 2007 by 0.4%. Priargunsky employs the underground method of uranium mining. Mining is carried out by a subdivision of the Uranium Mine Bureau (UMB) integrated works formed around three active mines: mine No. 1, mine No. 2, and Gluboky mine. In order to maintain planned mining volumes in the near future, Priargunsky is already working to reactivate and prepare the reserves of mines No. 6 and No. 8 for extraction.   The company has finished the construction of a new sulfuric acid plant.   Technical works to upgrade mining equipment are underway. An acid storage facility has been brought on-line and the construction of a radiometric ore-dressing plant is in its second stage. In order to maintain the mining volume of active mines at the level of 3 000 tons of uranium per year while facing a decrease in ore quality, the company will continue capital reconstruction and modernization of its production capacities, bringing new mines on-line. This will allow for an increase of the company’s production capacity in the long term.

References -
News June 2009 - Desmet Ballestra Italy - Chemical Division has successfully started up the first complete new Sulphuric Acid plant built in Russia in the last 10 years.  This plant has been designed in accordance to the Monsanto / MECS licence and technology, which is recognized worldwide since many years as the most updated, energy saving and environmental friendly. Desmet Ballestra supplied the project management, the basic and detail engineering, the equipment and materials and the supervision to plant erection, start up and commissioning. The capacity of the plant is over 150.000 t/y of sulphuric acid, that will be used for uranium leaching.  The plant, installed in far east Siberia, has been built for Tvel-Invest, a daughter Company of Rosatom, the Ministry of Atomic Energy of Russia, who inaugurated the new premises on June 17th, 2009.  Through this successful operation, Desmet Ballestra intends to be a strategic partner for Rosatom in this field, which is critical for uranium mining, an increasingly important operation in view of the 'Renaissance of the atomic energy worldwide' as stated by the Vice-Minister of Russian Atomic Energy, Mr. Lakshyn during the opening ceremony.

April 10, 2009 - Russia’s biggest uranium mining company, Priargun Mining Chemical Combine (PMCC, subsidiary of Uranium Holding ARMZ), has completed the construction of a sulfuric acid plant worth over $30 million. The official launch of the plant is scheduled for June 2009.   The capacity of the plant is 180,000 tons of sulfuric acid a year. It is supposed to be one of the biggest sulfuric acid plants in Siberia and the Far East. The existing sulfuric acid plant was built as far back as 1976 and has exhausted its resources. Sulfuric acid is used as a leaching reagent.  In the last five years PMCC has produced over 3,000 tons of uranium a year. By 2015 Uranium Holding ARMZ is planning to invest no less than $210 million in the development of Streltsovsk uranium field.

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