December 2020
Volume 72    Issue 12

Conceptual process to produce ThO2 from monazite

Bennett, Bradley; Counce, Robert M.; Zhang, Patrick; Nimkar, Rasika; Watson, Jack S.

ABSTRACT:

The purpose of this work is to develop a conceptual recovery process for thorium dioxide (ThO2) from its primary source, monazite. The study-level design presented in this paper represents an economically viable method for conducting ThO2 extraction from monazite ore while also recovering byproducts that include P2O5 and other rare earth element oxides rather than producing unnecessary waste streams. Three key points to note in the development of this process design are: (1) the process economics relied heavily on recovery of rare earth byproducts, (2) the thorium handling portions of the process could effectively be segregated from the rare earth and phosphate handling portions of the process, and (3) the thorium and uranium content in waste streams should be carefully managed and eliminated where possible.

 

Full-text paper:
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2020) 37:1317–1327, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-020-00203-y

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