Gamborg Hansen, J.K.
Uranium in the lujavrite ore from Kvanefjeld, South Greenland, can be solubilised by sulphatising roasting at 700degC. The reactivity of various lujavrite minerals in the roasting process and the mechanism of the reaction were investigated by X-ray diffraction, optical microscopy, electron microprobe, thermal analysis, Moessbauer and infrared spectroscopy. Soluble sulphates are formed on the surface of the grains; an outer zone of the grains is transformed; usually a core remains unchanged. Variations in uranium recovery can be explained by variations in the contents of the uranium-bearing minerals, steenstrupine and uranium-containing pigmentary material (altered Zr containing silicate minerals), and in the degree of alteration os steenstrupine. Characterization of these minerals required many qualitative and a few quantitative electron microprobe analyses. (author)
Rose-Hansen, J.; Soerensen, H.; Makovicky, M.; Konnerup-Madsen, J.; Holm, P.M.
The project described in this report is a contribution to a large project on the beneficiation of the Kvanefjeld uranium deposit in the Ilimaussaq intrusion in South Greenland. The main object of our project has been to undertake laboratory experiments on steenstrupine in order to define the optimum extraction conditions. A pressurized carbonate leaching method was introduced. The Risoe experiments are carried out on bulk samples of the ore while we decided to study the minerals, first of all steenstrupine, and carbonate solutions as leaching media. Our experiments demonstrated that the leaching conditions arrived at by the Risoe group give the highest recovery and thus may be termed the optimum conditions using sodium carbonate leaching methods. Studies of the solid products left after the leaching experiments by means of the electron microprobe show that the grains of steenstrupine remain and that the leaching of uranium proceeds from the margins of the grains and towards their interior. We decided also to study the effect of applying ammonium sulphate solutions. These gave significantly higher recoveries. We consider the results of the experiments using ammonium sulphate solutions as an essential new information on the extractability of the Kvanefjeld ore and as a main result of our study. It is demonstrated that in the 13 types of rocks examined, including lujavrites, 25-75 % of the thorium and 2-58 % of the uranium contained in the rocks can be leached out and are thus not firmly bound in the minerals. (author)
Soerensen, E.; Koefoed, S.; Lundgaard, T.
An alkaline rock from the Ilimaussaq instrusion, SW Greenland, was proposed as a source of uranium. Its principal uranium bearing mineral, Steenstrupine, is a complex sodium REE phosphosilicate in which Fe, Mn, Th and U are minor constituents. A special feature of this ore body is the content of water soluble minerals: NaF (Villiaumite), Na 2 Si 2 O 5 (Natrosilite) and an organic substance which displays the characteristics of humus. Sulfides are sparse, the most important one being ZnS (Sphalerite) of which the content is generally less than 0.5%. In the mineral under consideration (Lujavrite) the Steenstrupine is mainly finelay disseminated throughout the rock, yielding a uranium content of 300-400 ppm and thorium content of 800-1000 ppm. Laboratory tests indicated that high temperature carbonate leaching was necessary to decompose Steenstrupine. The optium temperature was shown to be 260 deg. C and the leach liquor composition 120 g/l of NaHCO 3 and 20 g/l of Na 2 C0 3 . Addition of oxygen is necessary. The process was developed to industrial scale in a continuous pipe autoclave with a retention time of 20 min. After filtering on a belt filter, the liquor was recycled several times to obtain a higher U-concentration. By reductive precipitation with iron powder a raw UO 2 was obtained. It was purified after dissolution in HNO 3 . An overall yield of 80% could be obtained. (author) 32 tabs., 13 ills., 24 refs
Soerensen, E.; Koefoed, S.; Lundgaard, T.
The principal uranium bearing mineral in Greenland steenstrupine is a complex sodium REE phosphosilicate in which Fe, Mn, Th, U are minor constituents. The Na 2 CO 3 extractant is used for specially acidconsuming ores. However, steenstrupine is decomposed by Na 2 CO 3 only at temperatures above 220degC, so the leaching must be carried out under pressure. Laboratory tests have shown the optimal temperature to be 260degC and the leach liquor composition120 g/l of NaHCO 3 and 20 g/l of Na 2 CO 3 . Addition of oxygen is necessary as uranium will not dissolve in carbonate unless it is brought in its highest state of oxidation. According to the laboratory tests it may be estimated that 1 kg of ore suspended in 1 l of leach liquor and ground to 80% minus 200 mesh can be extracted in 20-40 minutes. On the basis of data obtained a process was suggested in which the ore is ground with carbonate leach liquor to a suitable suspension which is fed to an autoclave with a retentiontime of 20 minutes at 260degC. The residue is filtered off and the liquor reused for grinding and ex- traction. The demand for a reaction temperature near 300degC, a pressure up to 120 atm. and a continuos operation favours a tubular flow autoclave with so narrow a bore that the turbulence provides the mechanical agitation of the suspension. From the mined material it appears that more than 80% of the uranium can be extracted in the pipe autoclave. Some samples give off the obtainable uranium in 20 minutes. The precipitated yellow cake is contaminated with more Na and Si than admitted by international standards. (EG)
This report deals with secondary geochemical dispersion in a subarct environment (Ilimaussaq Complex, south Greenland) of uranium and accompanying elements around a U deposit in which the refractory mineral steenstrupine is the main U-bearing mineral. Weathering profiles, including soils, and sediments in rivers, lakes and fjords have been sampled and studied. Chemical weathering is not well developed. The coarse-grained agpaitic nepheline syenites of the Ilimaussaq Complex are covered by debris of crumbling material and practically without vegetation, but soil profiles and vegetation are developed on glacial deposits and on weathered basement granite. 480 samples have been analysed for 22 elements and the data treated by multivariable analyses with main emphasis on principal component analysis. It was found that U and the other elements have been dispersed during weathering. The sediments in rivers and fjords show low correlation of U with those elements that are associated with U Ilimaussaq. Principal component analysis of the total sample materia of soils and lake and river sediments based on 17 elements makes the identification of the area containing the U deposit possible in the first three dimensions. The elements used are those which correlate with Th in this type of deposit. The statistical significance is however low when singlesample populations, as for instance the C-horizons of soils, are used. 41 refs. (EG)
Soerensen, H.; Bailey, J.C.; Rose-Hansen, J.
The U-Th-REE deposit located at the Kvanefjeld plateau in the north-west corner of the Ilimaussaq alkaline complex, South Greenland, consists of lujavrites which are melanocratic agpaitic nepheline syenites. The fine-grained lujavrites of the Kvanefjeld plateau can be divided into a northern and a southern part with an intermediate zone between them. The northern part is situated along the north contact of the Ilimaussaq complex and continues east of the Kvanefjeld plateau as a lujavrite belt along the contact. This part has relatively 'low' contents of U, Th, and REE, and hyperagpaitic mineralogy is restricted to its highest-lying parts. The fine-grained lujavrites of the intermediate and southern part of the Kvanefjeld plateau occur between and below huge masses of country rocks which we show are practically in situ remnants of the roof of the lujavrite magma chamber. These lujavrites have high contents of U, Th, and REE, and hyperagpaitic varieties with naujakasite, steenstrupine and villiaumite are widespread. We present a model for the formation of the fine-grained lujavrites of the Kvanefjeld plateau. In this model, an off-shoot from the large lujavrite magma body in the central part of the complex intruded into a fracture zone along the north contact of the Ilimaussaq complex and was forcefully emplaced from north-west to south-east. The intruding lujavrite magma was bounded to the west, north, and at its roof by strong volcanic country rocks, and to the south by the weaker, earlier rocks of the complex. The magma stored in the fracture crystallized, squeezing volatile and residual ele-ments upwards. A subsequent violent explosion opened up fractures in the weaker southern rocks, and the residual volatile-enriched magma was squeezed into fractures in augite syenite, naujaite, and also in the overlying volcanic roof rocks. The removal of the volatile-rich lujavrite magma in the upper part of the fracture-bounded magma chamber made room for the rise of