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Abstract

Three liquid-liquid extraction processes were tested in continuous equipment, on bench scale, to determine their relative merits in the purification of uranium as found in ion exchange eluates of various Canadian leach plants. Tri-n-butyl phosphate and dibutyl butylphosphonate were used as extractants on nitrate eluates. A tertiary amine was used in the case of sulphuric acid eluates. Optimum conditions for high recovery and low reagent costs were established, and the adaptability of the processes to existing leach plants is discussed. The suitability of the ammonium diuranate product as a source of ceramic-grade UO2 was also investigated. Suggested changes to the adopted flowsheets are given, for further testing on a pilot plant scale.