Investment in sulphuric acid production and engineering utilities at Russia's Khiagda uranium mining company in Buryatia (part of uranium holding Atomredmetzoloto) has totalled RUB4bn ($57m), the holding said. Construction of the sulphuric acid workshop began in 2010 and equipment installation is now complete. Air compressors have been started and Italian engineering company Desmet Ballestra, which supplied the technology, has started adjustment activities. Commissioning is expected in September.
The design capacity of the workshop is 110,000t of sulphuric acid as sulphuric-acid monohydrate. The rated production capacity is 324t a day. Khiagda director general Alexei Dementiev says the shop will reach full production capacity by autumn. In 2014, Khiagda produced 442t of uranium (tU), and in 2015 production is expected to be 508 tU, increasing to the design level of 1000 tU a year a by 2018.
In June, Dementiev said Khiagda could raise uranium production to 1300t a year. The company is beginning to develop uranium deposits in the Vitimsky Uranium Region of Buryatia. According to government-funded exploration organisation Urangeo, to date the resource potential of Vitimsky region is estimated at 409,000t including the Khiagdinskoye deposit.