United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Lixiviant

A liquid medium used to selectively extract (or leach) uranium from ore bodies where they are normally found underground (in other words, in situ). This liquid medium, which typically contains an oxidant such as oxygen and/or hydrogen peroxide mixed with sodium carbonate or carbon dioxide, is injected through wells into the ore body in a confined aquifer to dissolve the uranium. The resulting solution is then pumped via other wells to the surface, where the uranium is recovered from it in a concentrated form for processing. For additional detail, see In Situ Recovery Facilities.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, May 07, 2014