Mineral technology laboratories are located at Hyderabad and Nagpur. The laboratories are engaged in carrying out investigations on the feasibility of recovering uranium and other elements from the ore.
Facilities exist for carrying out physical beneficiation and hydrometallurgy. In addition to conventional techniques, the mineral technology laboratory at Hyderabad has been in the forefront of using bacterially-aided leaching technique.
This technology provides data on
(i) isolation and identification of different algae and bacteria in the uranium ore,
(ii) their role in the genesis of uranium mineralisation and
(iii) microbiology based leachability of uranium and its associated metals.
All the laboratories have been provided with crushers, grinders, equipment necessary for gravity concentration, flotation, magnetic separation and electrical separations. They also have facilities for carrying out investigations on the extraction of uranium from ores, purification by ion exchange and solvent extraction techniques and precipitation of uranium as diuranate. Over the years, the laboratory has contributed significantly in
- Recovery of niobium and tantalum minerals from the pegmatitic eluvium.
- Recovery of xenotime from the riverine placers.
- Beneficiation of pyrochlore from carbonatitic soils.
- Development of flow sheet for recovering wolframite from granite of Degana, Rajasthan.
- Development of flow sheet for improvement in recovery of beach sand minerals at the OSCOM Project (Orissa).
- Pilot plant extraction including biochemical leaching of uranium ores at field sites.
- Removal of (a) H2S from the effluents of heavy water plants and (b) cyanide in the gold tailings nitrates from the effluents of Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad.