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Business

Minerals

ANSTO provides international mining consultancy services with world-leading expertise in uranium ore processing, rare earth processing, speciality metals processing, radioactivity control and management and novel flowsheet design.

Consultancy

Minerals-Lab

Our experienced team of scientists, metallurgists, chemists, and engineers have been providing consulting services and process development services to the mining and minerals processing industries for well over 35 years.

We offer expertise and experience in areas such as:

  • Mineralogy
  • Leaching
  • Solvent extraction
  • Ion exchange
  • Membrane separations
  • Waste water treatment
  • Product recovery
  • Radioanalytical and,
  • Analytical chemistry

Facilities

Minerals-building

ANSTO has extensive facilities to support our client projects including:

  • Sample receipt and preparation facility
  • Modern hydrometallurgical laboratories
  • Extensive analytical and mineralogical facilities with up-to-date instrumentation
  • High engineering bay to house tall columns
  • Dedicated rare earth separation facility
  • Pilot plant facilities
  • Demonstration plant facilities
  • Extensive sample storage area

Research

Minerals-plant

Our focused minerals research group carries out fundamental research uniquely applied to industrial problems in the areas of uranium and rare earth processing.

Our national research facilities provides access to a wide range of advanced analytical techniques.

Our key research areas include:

  • Developing alternative technologies that allow for processing of uranium from saline liquors
  • Developing alternative technology for uranium recovery as a by-product of phosphoric acid production
  • Application of modelling techniques for selected uranium and rare earth unit operations such as heap leaching, ion exchange and solvent extraction
  • Understanding the impact of complex rare earth mineralogy on rare earth processing routes
  • The study of zirconium and niobium speciation in sulphate media
  • Examining the potential of ion exchange for rare earth recovery
  • Investigating the potential for synergistic reagents in rare earth solvent extraction circuits
  • Mapping the deportment of the radionuclides Th-232, U-238 and U-235 chains in rare earth processes
  • Investigating the relatives rates of dissolution of different uranium minerals in carbonate leaching, and the impact of the key variables such oxidant

Our research allows us to drive innovation with industry and support collaboration with the education sector.

Capabilities

Our team provide practical solutions and innovative technology to deliver financial and environmental benefits to our clients. Our capabilities include:

Analytical Facility

Analytical Facility
Our analytical facility conducts a range of analyses required to support related commercial projects, and can analyse everything from simple samples to complex matrices not typically dealt with by standard commercial laboratories.

Base Metals

Base Metals
We have experience in process modelling and development, operation support and plant design for the processing of base metals minerals to produce saleable products.

Critical Metals Processing

Critical Metals Processing
ANSTO has a vast range of industrial experience encompassing mineral processing, hydrometallurgical, and pyro-metallurgical processing of specialty metals including zirconium, niobium, scandium, titanium, molybdenum, tungsten, gold and silver.

Heap and In-Situ Leaching

Heap and In-Situ Leaching
Our facilities include over 30 temperature controlled 2 m vertical columns and 8 temperature controlled 4 m columns, which have been utilised in a number of uranium heap leach programs. A range of 1 and 2 m horizontal columns are also available for ISL programs.

Ion Exchange

Ion Exchange
ANSTO undertakes a wide variety of bench top and pilot plant scale ion exchange programs on uranium, lithium, base metals and specialty elements. We have in-house expertise in resin functional group chemistry and solution speciation and house a dedicated Ion Exchange Laboratory as well as several modular pilot plant areas, and associated equipment to conduct batch and continuous test work.

Lithium Processing

Lithium Processing
ANSTO has considerable expertise in lithium flowsheet development and in the processing of lithium deposits to produce saleable lithium chemical concentrates, working from both brine feedstock, and from spodumene and Li‑bearing micas and clays.

Membrane Separation

Membrane Separation
ANSTO has significant experience working with different membranes on a wide variety of mineral related projects and has access to both laboratory flat sheet apparatus and a commercial scale spiral wound membrane pilot plant.

Mineralogy

Mineralogy
Our team provides specialised knowledge on the mineralogy of ores/concentrates and the wide variety of solids and residues typically generated in hydromet processes, with well-equipped facilities that can handle a diverse range of samples, particularly those containing elevated concentrations of uranium and thorium.

Novel Flowsheet Design Modelling and Engineering

Novel Flowsheet Design Modelling and Engineering
ANSTO has specialised knowledge in novel flowsheet design and development, with a proven track record in applying our technical expertise in numerous lithium, uranium, base metals, rare earths and specialty metal projects.

Piloting Operations

Piloting Operations
Our pilot plant operations are key to our service offering, and play a leading role in transferring the results of laboratory test work programs to industry. We pride ourselves on working closely with our clients to design and operate pilot plant facilities that demonstrate the technical and financial viability of their projects.

Radioanalytical

Radioanalytical
ANSTO's radioanalytical facilities are recognised internationally and our team has extensive experience in the measurement of radioactivity from a wide variety of matrices. Our primary radoianalytical techniques include gamma spectrometry, alpha spectrometry and delayed neutron activation analysis (DNAA).

Rare Earth Processing

Rare Earth Processing
ANSTO has extensive experience in rare earth process development, providing specialised consulting on the processing of rare earth minerals including monazite, bastnasite and xenotime, as well as from less frequently exploited rare earth sources such as apatite, ionic clays and complex ores containing zirconium / niobium silicates.

Solvent Extraction

Solvent Extraction
ANSTO is an industry leader in the application of solvent extraction for the purification of metals such as uranium, rare earths, base metals and zirconium / niobium / hafnium, with clients and projects spanning six continents over almost four decades.

Uranium Processing

Uranium Processing
ANSTO is the leading process development facility in Australia for the leaching and processing of uranium ores. ANSTO and has been active in the development and application of technology for the uranium industry for over 40 years, covering all facets of the uranium flowsheet, and working for all of Australia’s past and current operating sites.

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