One of 12 leach tanks in the processing plant at Rössing Uranium Mine failed at around 18:30 on Tuesday, 3 December 2013.
Apart from minor first aid administered at the scene, no employees sustained serious injuries. The spilled slimes were channeled in trenches and contained in a holding tank, with no environmental impact. The spilled slime is to be recycled in the processing plant.
The area where the tank failed has been demarcated and made safe while a full investigation is underway to determine what caused the tank's failure and the nature of the structural damage.
At the moment the milling operation had been stopped but is expected to restart once the failed tank has been isolated from the production process.
Production in the other areas of the mine has not been affected and continues as usual.
Leaching is a step in the production of uranium oxide where the milled ore is processed in a sulphuric acid solution. The product of leaching is a pulp, containing suspended sand and slime, before it is washed to remove traces of uranium-bearing solution.
Visit the Rössing website for information on the operations: www.rossing.com
General Manager Operations
Rössing Uranium Limited