Mining

The uranium mining in Brazil is made in the city of Caetité, located in Bahia. Currently, this is the only mine in operation in the country. The unit is located in Província Uranífera de Lagoa Real, which has a reserve of 110,000 tonnes distributed in 38 uranium deposits with a high degree of purity.

The process

The ore is extracted from rocks and taken to be crushed, turning into micro stones. They are deposited in piles and receive, through hoses, a sulfuric acid solution which separates the uranium from rock. This process is known as leaching and it results in a yellow liquid, - the uranium liquor - a mixture of sulfuric acid with uranium.

This uranium liquor is purified and treated with a variety of chemical and physical separation processes, which generates a yellow paste (concentrated of uranium), also known as yellowcake. This material is deposited in special drums, fully sealed, and goes to another stage of the nuclear fuel cycle: the conversion.