AP09260105 "Development of mathematical foundations and 3D simulation model of the process of underground bacterial leaching of uranium"


The project executors have many years of experience in developing and creating mathematical models of the geological, hydrodynamic and mass transfer stages of uranium mining by the method of downhole underground chemical leaching [6-10]. They have developed 3D computer programs that allow: using well data to restore the interwell lithology of the formation and its filtration properties; determine reservoir hydrodynamics; calculate chemical and mass transfer processes in the reservoir.

For Kazakhstan, which provides more than a third of the world's uranium production, it is extremely important to expand the resource base by involving low-grade ores in production using the most efficient modern methods and ensuring the competitiveness of products on the international market.

The proposed simulation model of the uranium mining technology is fully applicable in the subdivisions of NAC Kazatomprom JSC. In Kazakhstan, judging by open data and on the world market, there is still no software that will be created as a result of this project.

At the same time, the project executors have many years of experience in creating mathematical and computer models of uranium mining by the method of downhole underground chemical leaching, and these results and developments are of an international level [6-10, 18-20, 30]. The implementation of this project will allow them to be at the forefront of similar developments for ore bioleaching technologies.

Objective of the project

Construction of a mathematical model of the process of uranium mining by underground bacterial leaching and development of a 3D simulation model that allows: to plan the development of the deposit and predict production; manage and optimize the mining process; determine the ways of involving in the production of low-grade ores, the extraction of which is unprofitable by traditional non-bacterial leaching.

Expected results

As a result of the study, mathematical foundations will be built and a simulation model of the process of uranium mining by the bacterial leaching method will be developed, allowing: to plan the development of the deposit and predict production; manage and optimize the mining process; determine ways to involve low-grade ores in the production, the extraction of which by traditional leaching without the use of bacteria is unprofitable.

The main results of the study will be published at least three articles and (or) reviews in international indexed journals included in Q1, Q2, Q3 and having a percentile of at least 50, at least 1 article or review in a peer-reviewed foreign or domestic journal recommended by the CCSON, t .e. in accordance with the requirements of the tender documentation; certificates for registration of copyrights for modules of the developed software will be obtained. The results of the study will be discussed at scientific seminars, including at the university of a foreign collaborator, and also reported at scientific conferences, including at specialized conferences in the direction of research.

СоциалThe economic effect of the proposed development is to reduce the unit cost of production due to the involvement in the production of poor (off-balance) uranium ores, the development of which is unprofitable without the use of bacteria. The development of a 3D simulation model will be implemented with the active involvement of master's and doctoral students, which will allow students to participate in the full cycle of research work for two to three years. As a result, students acquire practical skills in organizing a project, working in a team, learning how to properly use time, personnel, plan risks, organize meetings, prepare and use documentation.

The simulation model developed within the framework of this project can also be used at enterprises mining other metals such as gold, copper, etc. bacterial leaching method.

Results achieved

A search, collection and analysis of literature was carried out to clarify the main mining-geological and hydrogeological factors and mineralogy that determine the possibility of using the technology of bacterial leaching of minerals. A preliminary analysis of the effect of bacteria Ac. ferrooxidans and the mineralogical composition of the reservoir on the intensification of the process of underground bacterial leaching during uranium mining. The conditions for the most effective use of underground bioleaching for the extraction of uranium from low-grade ores have been established. A zero-dimensional (0D) model of the process was developed and verified, and numerical calculations were carried out to study the influence of the mining and geological properties of ore-bearing rock on the behavior of bacterial leaching in the diffusion mode. Mathematical and numerical models have been developed and a computer code for the macrokinetics of bioleaching of sulfide minerals in the diffusion mode has been created. The novelty of the project lies in the creation of a scientific basis for the application of bacterial leaching technology by developing mathematical and simulation (digital) models of uranium mining technology using underground bacterial leaching, which allows using detailed 3D analysis to predict the development of the process and control all stages of production.

Names and surnames of the study group members with their identifiers

  1. Kaltaev Aidarkhan - scientific adviser
  2. Tungatarova Madina Sovetkalievna - leading Researcher
  3. Aizhulov Daniar Yersenovich - Researcher
  4. Kurmanseyit Maksat Baқytzhanuly - Researcher
  5. Shayakhmetov Nurlan Muratkhanovich - Researcher
  6. Dzhapaev Saduakhas Kalievich - senior researcher
  7. Uzbekaliyev Kenboy Sheripaliugly - Researcher
  8. Imanbay Meyirzhan Esirkepuly - Junior Research Fellow
  9. Beysembieva Balausa Tursynovna - Engineer

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