Boss Energy has announced that it has passed the final technical milestone in its Honeymoon restart strategy, enabling production of the first drum of uranium before the end of April.

As part of this phase, uranium-rich lixiviant from the wellfields has filled the processing plant Ion Exchange (IX) column, where loaded resin will result in production of concentrated high-grade eluate.

Boss’ Managing Director, Duncan Craib, said that since acquiring Honeymoon, the company’s strategy has been to increase the uranium tenor in the wellfield feed solution to the plant and develop a larger processing facility utilising Ion Exchange technology.

“This approach is to improve the economics of the project by increasing production rates and reducing operating costs,” Mr Craib said. 

“We have now achieved both of these key goals and as a result are set to fill our first drum with uranium in the coming days”.

Honeymoon mining activities are ramping up to support the production profile. Lixiviant (a leaching fluid) is now being optimised and continuously injected into the orebody through the injector wells.

The lixiviant moves through the ore zones within that horizon, dissolving the uranium mineralisation at its origin and producing a uranium-rich fluid which is then pumped to the surface through the extractor wells. The installed pipelines at surface transport the pregnant, uranium-rich lixiviant from the wellfields to the Honeymoon processing plant and feed into the IX circuit for uranium recovery.

The IX circuit adsorption columns have been filled with resin to effectively recover the high tenors of uranium from the pregnant leach solution (PLS). The loaded resin is being transferred to the elution columns where the resin is eluted to recover uranium to a concentrated high-grade eluate.

The concentrated high-grade eluate will then be recovered through the upgraded precipitation circuit to produce uranyl peroxide (UO₄), and then calcined to produce a high-quality saleable uranium oxide (U₃O₈) product.

During the IX production process, uranium is being chemically extracted until the solution is said to be ‘barren’, or no longer rich in uranium. The remaining barren liquor will be refortified with acid and oxidant before it is recycled back to the wellfield to repeat the dissolution process. 

Featured image: The Honeymoon facility. Image credit: Boss Energy.

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