Leaching and Storage Tanks
Tank leaching, also known as reactor leaching, is dissolving soluble minerals from a solid ore or concentrate within specially designed vessels. Tank leaching is one of several leaching methods.
The ore or concentrate is fed as slurry or pulp into the leaching tank where it is mixed with a lixiviant, usually an aqueous solution, which acts as a solvent. The duration of the leaching operation can range from hours up to 5 days. Tank leaching can be performed as a batch process but is normally operated as a continuous process. Leaching is usually carried out in a series of tanks.
Storage tanks operate under no (or very little) pressure, distinguishing them from pressure vessels. Storage tanks are often cylindrical in shape, perpendicular to the ground with flat bottoms, and a fixed or floating roof. There are usually many environmental regulations applied to the design and operation of storage tanks, often depending on the nature of the fluid contained within. Above ground storage tanks (AST) differ from underground (UST) storage tanks in the kinds of regulations that are applied.