Imouraren Uranium Heap Leach Pad & Tailings Project

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Largest open-pit uranium mine in western Africa

The Imouraren deposit, located in Niger, is considered to be the largest open-pit uranium mine in western Africa with production set to extend more than 35 years.

The deposit is expected to produce 5 000 t/y of U2O4 (Yellowcake) and the process will consist of heap leach pad facilities plus solvent-extraction (SX) and precipitation.

Since 2009 Ausenco has contributed to the Imouraren project by successfully delivering conceptual design and basic engineering services.

We continued our association with the project by delivering detailed design engineering for the 6-8 Mt/y on-off heap leach pad and tailings operation which includes:

  • earthworks
  • lining
  • irrigation
  • drainage
  • collection and PLS systems.

The heap leach pad consists of:

  • surface - 410 000m2
  • 8 ore cells
  • radial stacker
  • horizontal bridge
  • mobile conveyors
  • overland conveyor
  • reclaiming with front-end loaders.

The Tailings facility consists of:

  • footprint 2 700 000m2 – lined
  • capacity - 110 million tonne
  • stacked with 35 tonne capacity trucks.

The project is located in a high rainfall area with precipitation capable of reaching 63mm in just 30 minutes. This challenging factor was addressed by Ausenco with regards to the design of the storm water system.

This important operation will provide significant support to the socioeconomic development of Niger.

Project details

Heap leach facility design, Tailings , Tailings and mine waste management
Business line
Minerals & Metals
2011 - 2012
Solution phase
Engineering, Studies and technical solutions