Mineralogical characterization of ore samples from the Cameco Resources Smith Ranch-Highlands Uranium Mine, Unit B

ln Situ Recovery (ISR) mining is used for about 47% of uranium mining globally. Regulations on restoration of mined aquifers require a return to pre-mining baseline water quality conditions, or conditions where the risk of human exposure is as low as reasonably achievable. Determining the attenuating capacity of down-gradient aquifer solids is key to quantifying this risk. Organic carbon phases and sulfides are expected to be important controls on transport of elements of concern through these materials. In this study, the intern will be examining core samples taken from the ore body in an unmined area of an active ISR uranium mine in Wyoming, USA owned by the industry partner Cameco. The intern will study the bulk mineralogy, characterize amorphous carbon phases, and map the mineralogy and elemental distributions in the core samples using a combination of synchrotron and traditional mineralogical approaches. Based on their findings, they will prepare a report of the results for the industry partner and provide recommendations for use of this data. As part of this project, the intern will work with the Cameco at their Saskatoon, SK office and will also gain field experience at their Northern Saskatchewan mine and mill sites.

Intern: 
Samira Sumaila
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Joyce McBeth
Project Year: 
2015
Province: 
Saskatchewan
Program: