U3O8 Corp. Defines the Full Extraction Process for Its Berlin

U3O8 Corp. Defines the Full Extraction Process for Its Berlin Deposit
in Colombia 
Process Flow Sheet Is Another Key Step in Showing the Economic Value
of the Berlin Project 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 11/01/12 -- U3O8 Corp.
(TSX:UWE)(OTCQX:UWEFF), a Canadian-based company focused on
exploration and resource expansion of uranium and associated
commodities in South America, outlines the final component of the
three main sections of the flow sheet that defines the entire process
by which uranium, phosphate, vanadium, rare earths and other metals
are to be extracted from the Berlin Project in Colombia. This flow
sheet is an integral part of the preliminary economic assessment
("PEA") being undertaken by Bateman Engineering N.V., which is on
track for delivery by the end of 2012.  
"The flow sheet marks another key achievement by demonstrating how we
plan to extract the various commodities from the Berlin ore into
saleable products," said Dr. Richard Spencer, U3O8 Corp's President
and CEO. "U3O8 Corp. has made huge strides in advancing the Berlin
Project from exploration trenching and resource estimation to
development of the entire flow sheet and finalizing the upcoming PEA
in just two and a half years. Berlin is fast becoming a company maker
that we are showing could be a large deposit and low-cost uranium
producer thanks to the value of a suite of recoverable by-products." 
Flow Sheet for the Berlin Project 
The process route shown in the flow sheet has been designed to
efficiently extract multiple commodities from Berlin, to be versatile
in terms of reagent consumption, to be compatible with standard
recovery methods and to create an environmentally benign tailing.
U3O8 Corp. has now defined the three main components of this process
as follows (Figure 1):  


 
1.  Beneficiation of the crushed ore using acetic acid (vinegar) to remove
    calcite and concentrate the valuable commodities into as small a mass as
    possible, which makes the subsequent extraction and recovery processes
    more efficient and reduces capital and operating costs;
 
2.  Extraction of the various commodities into a pregnant solution by an
    acidic ferric iron leach method; and
 
3.  Recovery of the individual elements from the pregnant solution by
    con
ventional techniques - details reported in this press release. 

 
Beneficiation: 
As reported in U3O8 Corp's October 17, 2012 press release,
beneficiation using a weak solution of acetic acid to dissolve
calcite from the mineralized material at Berlin concentrated the
payable elements into 40-47% of the original ore mass as well as
producing a potentially saleable gypsum by-product. The significant
reduction in volume of material that undergoes further treatment may
reduce processing and capital costs, simplify the extraction process,
add a potentially valuable by-product and decrease the volume of
tailings by 50-60%. The PEA is considering both acetic acid and
non-acetic acid routes to determine which of these options is most
beneficial for the Berlin Project. Arafura Resources Ltd. has stated
that it plans to use a similar process of adding sulphuric acid to
regenerate hydrochloric acid, which could produce a gypsum by-product
at its Nolans Bore deposit in Australia. 
Extraction: 
The residue of the ore that remains after beneficiation by acetic
acid is subjected to a two-step ferric iron process as detailed in
U3O8 Corp's January 12, 2012 press release. The ferric leach achieved
excellent extraction of multiple elements contained in the
mineralized rock from the Berlin Project. These results are
considered to be representative of the entire resource area since the
test work was conducted on 35% of the bore hole intersections that
were included in the resource estimate. U3O8 Corp's ferric process
was adapted from proven technology used for uranium and yttrium
production at Elliott Lake in Ontario and is now used at Rossing Mine
in Namibia and the Talvivaara Mine in Finland.  
Step one of the extraction process involves the mineralized residue
being mixed with ferric iron and sulphuric acid, followed by step two
- a wash with weak sulphuric acid. These two steps will be combined
in a conventional train of reactors to ensure efficient extraction of
the soluble metals and phosphate into the pregnant liquor. 
Recovery:  
The beneficiation and extractive leach sections of the process have
been designed to create a pregnant liquor solution ("PLS") that
contains the metals of economic interest and phosphate at a
concentration appropriate for conventional recovery techniques and to
minimize the presence of elements such as calcium and iron that can
complicate the recovery process. After beneficiation of the Berlin
ore with acetic acid, the acidic ferric leach would generate a PLS
with an approximate concentration of elements as follows: uranium -
600 milligrams per litre ("mg/L"); phosphorous - 27,000 mg/L;
vanadium - 1,400 mg/L; rare earths including yttrium - 200 mg/L and
neodymium - 45 mg/L; molybdenum 180 mg/L; nickel 850 mg/L; zinc 1,800
mg/L and manganese 75 mg/L. 
Calcium levels are managed in two ways: through the extraction of
most of the calcium from the ore in the beneficiation step; and
secondly, by maintaining the residual calcium in the PLS in a
relatively insoluble form. Had hydrochloric acid been used instead,
chlorine would have been introduced into the system which, together
with calcium, would have interfered with extraction of the metals of
value.  
The first step in the recovery process involves the alteration of
ferric iron in the liquor to the ferrous form in a process called
reduction. Iron in the ferrous state can be carried in the PLS
through the remainder of the process without interfering
significantly with standard ion exchange ("IX") and solvent
extraction ("SX") or direct precipitation routines used for select
recovery of the valuable elements. Iron reduction can be readily
achieved with the addition of a variety of reducing reagents.  
Molybdenum is the first element to be selectively extracted from the
PLS in the first IX process and is stripped using ammonium hydroxide
(to prevent gypsum co-precipitation with the molybdenum) and is
precipitated as calcium molybdate, a saleable product. The removal of
molybdenum before uranium and vanadium extraction is to prevent
interference in the subsequent IX and SX processes designed to
extract other elements.  
Uranium and vanadium are then extracted from the PLS in a second IX
process into a combined stream using weak sulphuric acid. The uranium
is separated from vanadium by adding hydrogen peroxide which causes
precipitation of uranium peroxide. The uranium peroxide (UO4.nH2O) is
thickened, centrifuged and dried for transport off-site. The uranium
peroxide is subsequently heated to form yellowcake (U3O8), the form
in which uranium is marketed. The vanadium is then precipitated with
ammonia to produce ammonium penta-vanadate, which is thickened,
centrifuged and dried for transport off-site. This process of
extracting the uranium and vanadium together, and then separating
them, is used in the following facilities: Climax Uranium Co. (USA),
Talvivaara Mining Co. (Finland) and Smith Ranch project (USA).  
Following the extraction of molybdenum, uranium and vanadium, the PLS
undergoes the first SX process to produce an estimated 25% strength
phosphoric acid by extracting phosphorous with tri-butyl phosphate
("TBP") in a ShellSol diluent followed by stripping with water. The
resulting phosphoric acid is co
ncentrated to a minimum 83% strength
by a steam evaporator to produce a saleable phosphoric acid product.  
The rare earths (principally yttrium, neodymium and cerium) are
precipitated by elevating the pH level of the PLS with ammonia to
produce a precipitate which is centrifuged and dried and then the
mixed rare earth oxides are packed for transport and separation
off-site.  
The PLS now contains only base metals and manganese for recovery and
undergoes the second SX process for the extraction and stripping of a
mixture of nickel, zinc and manganese with D2EHPA (Di-(2-ethylhexyl)
phosphoric acid) and sulphuric acid. The individual metals could then
be separated from the mixture on-site, or the mixture could be sent
off-site for further processing.  
At the end of the recovery process, the ferrous iron contained in
solution could be oxidized to the ferric iron form and recycled back
into the ferric leach circuit to lower reagent consumption and reduce
operating costs.  
Qualified Persons and Accreditation  
The metallurgical test work relied upon for the development of the
flow sheet was done at SGS Lakefield OreTest Pty Ltd in Perth,
Australia. SGS Lakefield OreTest was established as a metallurgical
services company in 1993 as Lakefield OreTest Pty Limited and is now
a subsidiary of the SGS Lakefield group, which has been offering
mineral processing services to the mining industry since 1948. 
Dr. Paul Miller, a qualified person as defined in National Instrument
43-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators ("QP"), has overseen
the metallurgical test work carried out by SGS Lakefield OreTest, and
verified the technical information relating to the results reported
above. Dr. Miller is a metallurgist specializing in hydrometallurgy
with over 30 years' experience in the commercial application of
processes for the treatment of sulphide-bearing ore. Dr. Miller has a
doctorate in Chemical Engineering, is a member of the Institute of
Mining and Metallurgy, London, and is a Chartered Engineer. He is
Managing Director of Sulphide Resource Processing Pty Ltd. 
Bateman Engineering N.V. is part of the Tenova Mining & Minerals
Group, a leading, international engineering firm ("Bateman"). Bateman
has been providing process design, development and construction
services to the resource sector for over 90 years with extensive and
specific process and engineering experience in the extraction of
uranium, phosphate, rare earths, nickel and zinc as well as in
sulphuric acid production. U3O8 Corp. selected Bateman to conduct a
PEA on the Berlin deposit because of its extensive expertise in these
critical elements relevant to Berlin. In coordination with Dr. Miller
and U3O8 Corp., Bateman has been instrumental in developing the flow
sheet, which has been overseen by Mr. Pieter Niemann, a Bateman
employee and a QP. Mr. Niemann, a Professional Metallurgical Engineer
and MBA graduate, has relied on geological information relating to
the Berlin deposit from U3O8 Corp. and on metallurgical test work
carried out by SGS Lakefield OreTest. Mr. Niemann has verified the
content related to the flow sheet presented in this press release. 
Dr. Richard Spencer, P. Geo., President & CEO of U3O8 Corp. and a QP,
has supervised the preparation of, and verified the technical
information contained in this press release relating to the Berlin
Project. 
About U3O8 Corp. 
U3O8 Corp. is an advanced exploration company focused on exploration
and resource expansion of uranium and associated commodities in South
America - a promising new frontier for uranium exploration and
development. In just one year, U3O8 Corp's uranium resources have
grown 7-fold with deposits now in Colombia, Argentina and Guyana
comprising of: 
- Berlin Project, Colombia - its flagship property contains a uranium
deposit with a high-value suite of by-products including phosphate,
vanadium, rare earths (yttrium and neodymium) and other metals;  
- Laguna Salada Project, Argentina - a near surface, free-digging
uranium, vanadium deposit that is potentially amenable to low-cost
mining and processing methods; and  
- Kurupung Project, Guyana - an initial uranium deposit in a large
emerging uranium district.  
Positive metallurgical results have been achieved on all three
projects. U3O8 Corp's near-term focus is scout drilling in Colombia
to drive resource growth and completion of a preliminary economic
assessment by the end of 2012 to broadly estimate capital and
operating costs on the initial multi-commodity resource defined at
Berlin. Additional information on U3O8 Corp. and its mineral
resources are available at www.u3o8corp.com. 
Forward-Looking Statements 
Certain information set forth in this news release may contain
forward-looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown
risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are subject
to numerous risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the
control of U3O8 Corp., including, but not limited to, the future
results of metallurgical test work, whether results of metallurgical
test work on a smaller scale to date can be duplicated on a larger
scale, the impact of general economic conditions, industry
conditions, the timing of laboratory results and preparation of
technical reports and PEAs, the actual results of independent scoping
studies and subsequent metallurgical testing, volatility of commodity
prices, risks associated with the uncertainty of exploration results
and estimates and that the resource potential will be achieved on the
Berlin Project and other exploration projects, currency fluctuations,
legislative change, dependence upon regulatory approvals, and the
uncertainty of obtaining additional financing and exploration risk.
Readers are cautioned that the assumptions used in the preparation of
such information, although considered reasonable at the time of
preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance
should not be placed on forward-looking statements. 
To view Figure 1, please visit the following link:
http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/uweff1101fig1.pdf. 
To view the videos associated with this press release, please visit
the following links:  
www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw-kAT7kj3o 
www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMjQ5oWUeMQ
Contacts:
U3O8 Corp.
Richard Spencer
President & CEO
(416) 868-1491
richard@u3o8corp.com 
U3O8 Corp.
Nancy Chan-Palmateer
Vice President, Investor Relations
(416) 868-1491
nancy@u3o8corp.com
www.u3o8corp.com
 
 
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