Uranium, which is not found free in nature, combines with various elements to form uranium minerals. It is generally found in rocks and waters in trace amounts. In the existing oxidation conditions above and below the groundwater table, secondary uranium minerals containing +6 uranium can easily dissolve (with increasing pH in the water) and are transported into the solution in the form of uranyl ions and transported over long distances with groundwater. When they meet the appropriate reduction (reduction) conditions during transportation, they are reduced to +4 uranium and deposited as Uraninite and Pitchblen (uranium oxide containing ore) and thus uranium deposits are formed. The main uranium minerals are uraninite, autinite, pitchblend, tobernit and co-nit. In the mining sector, during the evaluation of a uranium field; U3O8 grade, reserves, mineral processing and ore recovery technology of the ore are evaluated as a whole. For this reason, uranium ore deposits that have a reserve of 10,000 tons and a grade of more than 0.05% U3O8 are currently operable. Since the extracted uranium mines contain 0.1% -1% U3O8, the extracted mine is subjected to a pre-enrichment process.
In addition to the use of uranium as a nuclear power plant fuel and in making nuclear explosives, uranyl acetate is also used in analytical applications, armor coating, shipbuilding and aircraft construction, to color the ceramics and to make plutonium hydrogen bomb.
As of the end of 2017, there are 6,14 million tons of uranium resources in the world and 59,462 tons were produced in the same year.
According to the report prepared by MTA in 2017, uranium and thorium resources in the in Turkey are located in 5 different bed which is about 12,614 tons in total. Although the average grade and reserves of these 5 deposits are within the world-accepted economic limits in the years they were sought, these values have remained well below the current economic evaluation limits. This is due to the significant changes in nuclear power plant planning in recent years, especially in Canada and Australia, uranium deposits with high grade and low production costs.
While Uranium (U3O8) prices decreased in 2017, it later compensated this decline and rose to the highest level of the last four years today.
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