United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Heap leach

A method of extracting uranium from ore using a leaching solution. Small ore pieces are placed in a heap on an impervious material (plastic, clay, asphalt) with perforated pipes under the heap. Acidic solution is then sprayed over the ore, dissolving the uranium. The solution in the pipes is collected and transferred to an ion-exchange system for concentration of the uranium.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, October 28, 2014