Recovery of uranium from the Um Samra-Um Bakra shear zone, central Eastern Desert, Egypt

  • M. S. Kamar
  • M. A. HassaninEmail author
  • A. M. Ismail
Original Paper


The Um Samra-Um Bakra shear zone in the central Eastern Desert of Egypt strikes 110°, dips 45° SSW, and ranges from 30 to 500 m in width. It extends more than 10 km in length and cuts through postorogenic granites. The shear zone is dissected by three different vein types. These veins are chronologically arranged as black, red, and milky silica veins in ascending order and dissect the host rock. In this work, the uranium mineralization in the Um Samra-Um Bakra shear zone was studied with a view to recovering the uranium. The recovery of uranium from a technological sample that was found to contain 4644 ppm U was investigated by considering two possible leaching processes: agitation and pug leaching, using sulfuric acid as the leaching agent. The relevant parameters of both processes were studied. Under optimal conditions, it was possible to achieve a leaching efficiency of about 97.8% with the agitation process when NaClO3 was included as an oxidant. Leaching efficiencies exceeding 99% for U were achieved with pug leaching. A marketable product was conveniently prepared from the resulting leach liquor.


Um Samra-Um Bakra shear zone Eastern Desert of Egypt Uranium Leaching Pug leaching 



The authors thank Prof. Dr. M.E. Ibrahinam and Prof. Dr. Enass El-Sheikh for their guidance, continued support, and valuable advice.


No funding was received.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Abdalla HM, Matsueda H, Obeid MA, Takahashi R (2008) Chemistry of cassiterite in rare metal granitoids and the associated rocks in Eastern Desert, Egypt. J Mineral Petrol Sci 103:318–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abdel Fattah NA (2003) Uranium extraction from gibbsite-bearing sediments and other economic elements by using solvents and organic compounds (Abu Zeneima Area, Sinai, Egypt). M.Sc. thesis. Faculty of Science, Zagazig University, ZigazigGoogle Scholar
  3. Abdel Moneim A, El Aassy IE, Hegab O, El Fayoumy I, El Agami N (2005) Gibbsite, uranium and copper mineralizations, Um Bogma area, Southwestern Sinai, Egypt. Sedimentol Egypt 5:117–132Google Scholar
  4. Abdel Monem AA, Shazly AG, Salem I A, Ashmaway MH, El Shibiny NHM (1999) Petrographical and geochemical characteristics of some granitoids associated with rare-metal mineralizations, Central Eastern Desert, Egypt. In: 4th Int Conf on Geochemistry, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt, 15–16 Sept 1999, pp 243–260Google Scholar
  5. Abu Deif A, El-Tahir M (2008) A new uranium occurrence, Gabal El Missikat prospect, central Eastern Desert, Egypt. J King Abdulaziz Univ Earth Sci 19:85–97Google Scholar
  6. Amer TE, Mahdy MA, El Hazek NT, El Bayoumi R, Hassanein S (2000) Application of acid pugging and ferric salts leaching on west central Sinai uraniferous siltstone. In: Uranium 2000: Proc Int Symp on the Process Metallurgy of Uranium, Saskatoon, Canada, 9–15 Sept 2000Google Scholar
  7. Cuney M, Le Fort P, Wong ZX (1984) Uranium and thorium geochemistry and mineralogy in the Manaslu leucogranites (Nepal, Himalaya). In: Symp on Geology of Granites and their Metallogenic Relations, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China, 26–30 Oct 1982, pp 853–873Google Scholar
  8. Dave L, Adrian M, Simon D (2009) Uranium extraction, the key Issue for processing. pp 1–32Google Scholar
  9. Hassan MA, El Shatoury HM (1976) Beryl occurrences in Egypt. Min Geol 26:253–262Google Scholar
  10. Helgeson HC (1974) Chemical interaction of feldspar and aqueous solutions. In: Mackenzie WL, Zussman J (eds) The feldspars. Manchester University Press, Manchester, pp 184–215 Google Scholar
  11. Ibrahim ME, Zalata MA, Ibrahim IH, Rashed MA (2003) El Sella shear zone, Southeastern Desert, Egypt; an example of vein-type uranium deposit, Egypt. J Geol 47(2):689–704Google Scholar
  12. Ibrahim ME, El-Kalioby BA, El Sawey EH, Kamar MS, Abu Zeid EK, Ismail AM (2017) Um Samra-Um Bakra shear zone, central Eastern Desert, Egypt: an example of vein type base metal mineralization. Int J Mining Sci 3:1–17Google Scholar
  13. IAEA (1980) Significance of mineralogy in the development of flow sheets for processing uranium ores. Tech Rep Ser no. 196. International Atomic Energy Agency, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  14. Kabesh ML, Salem AA, Heikal MA, Salem MA (1982) Petrochemistry and petrogenesis of the granitic rocks of Um Samra pluton, Eastern Desert, Egypt. J Geol 26(15):171–184Google Scholar
  15. Mahdy MA (1989) Potentialities of percolations leaching of uraniferous siltstone from Wadi Nasib, Egypt. TECDOC vol 640. IAEA, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  16. Mahdy MA, Dabbour GA, El Assy IE (1988) Leaching characteristics of uraniferous siltstone of Wadi Nasib, Sinai, Egypt. In: Proc 4th Conf of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, Cairo, Egypt, 6–10 Mar 1988Google Scholar
  17. Mathew KJ, Bürger S, Ogt SV, Mason PME, Narayanan UI (2009) Uranium assay determination using Davies and Gray titration. In: Proc 8th Int Conf on Methods and Applications of Radioanalytical Chemistry (Marc VIII), Kona, HI, USA, 5–10 April 2009Google Scholar
  18. Shazly AG, Salem IA, Monem AA, El Shibiny NH (1998) Ore mineralogy, geochemistry and fluid inclusions of some gold bearing quartz veins in the Central Eastern Desert of Egypt. Egypt Min 10(16):51–74Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nuclear Materials AuthorityCairoEgypt

Personalised recommendations