Where can ISR uranium mining techniques be used?

The goal of the mining process is to remove uranium from the aquifer and bring it to the surface for processing. The mining fluids must be kept in a confined area to prevent contamination of drinking water. Therefore, a confined aquifer is necessary to keep the fluids from migrating vertically. The facility must also demonstrate that it maintains hydraulic control on its wellfields to keep the mining fluids from migrating horizontally. To do this, facilities operate on a very slight “bleed”, meaning they pump out more fluid than is injected. This process creates a cone of depression around the mining area, in which groundwater within a certain area (determined by how strong the “bleed” is) changes direction to flow towards the well from every direction. This ensures that water flows towards the well and is pumped out, thereby preventing the spread of injection fluid beyond wellfield boundaries.