Quantitative Model of the Formation Mechanism of the Rollfront Uranium Deposits

  • D. Y. Aizhulov Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, 71 Al-Farabi ave., 050040, Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • N. M. Shayakhmetov Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, 71 Al-Farabi ave., 050040, Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • A. Kaltayev Satbayev University, 22a Satpayev street, 050013, Almaty, Kazakhstan


The rollfront type deposits are crescent shaped accumulation of mineralization including uranium, selenium, molybdenum in reduced permeable sandstones. It generally forms within a geochemical barrier between mostly reduced and predominantly oxidized environments. Redox reactions between oxidant and reductant creates favorable conditions for uranium precipitation, while constant flow of oxidant continuously dissolves uranium minerals thereby creating a reactive transport. Several previous works had either focused on the characteristics of the rollfront type deposits, or on the description of chemical and geological processes involved in their genesis. Based on these previous works, authors aimed to mimic laboratory experiments numerically by reactive flow and numerical simulation. Data from one particular experiment was used to determine reaction rates between reactants to produce a model of reactive transport and chemical processes involved in the formation of rollfront type deposits. The resulting model was used to identify the causes of crescent like formations and to determine main mechanisms influencing rollfront evolution. A better understanding and simulation of the mechanism involved in the formation of rollfront type deposits and their properties would contribute to decreased exploration and production costs of commodities trapped within such accumulations. The results of this work can be used to model other deposits formed through infiltration and subsequent precipitation of various minerals at the redox interface.


(1). S.S. Adams, R.T. Cramer. Data-process-criteria model for roll-type uranium deposits. Geological environments of sandstone-type uranium deposits. Report IAEA-TECDOC-328. International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (Austria); p. 408; Mar 1985; p. 383–399.

(2). World Distribution of Uranium Deposits (UDEPO) with Uranium Deposit Classification, IAEA-TECDOC-1629, International Atomic Energy Agency, Printed by the IAEA in Austria October 2009, p. 117. ISBN 978–92–0–110509–7

(3). F.J. Dahlkamp. Uranium Deposits of the World (Asia), Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 2009, p. 492

(4). A Joint Report by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency “Uranium 2014: Resources, Production and Demand”, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2014, NEA No. 7209.

(5). A.B. Tarkhanov, Y.P. Bugrieva. Large uranium deposits of the world. Mineral’noe syr’e [Minerals Journal] 27 (2012) 118 p. (in Russian).

(6). D. Renard, H. Beucher, Applied Earth Science. Transactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy: Section B 121 (2012) 84–88. Crossref

(7). G. Petit, H. Boissezon, V. Langlais, G. Rumbach, A. Khairuldin, T. Oppeneau, N. Fiet. Application of Stochastic Simulations and Quantifying Uncertainties in the Drilling of Roll Front Uranium Deposits. In: Abrahamsen P., Hauge R., Kolbjørnsen O. (eds) Geostatistics Oslo 2012. Quantitative Geology and Geostatistics, Springer, Dordrecht 17 (2012) 321–332. Crossref

(8). M. Abzalov, S. Drobov, O. Gorbatenko, A. Vershkov, O. Bertoli, D. Renard, H. Beucher, Applied Earth Science (123) (2014) 70–85. Crossref

(9). S.B. Romberger. Transport and deposition of uranium in hydrothermal systems at temperatures up to 300 °C: geological implications. In: De Vivo B., Ippolito F., Capaldi G., Simpson P.R. (eds.) Uranium geochemistry, mineralogy, geology, exploration and resources. Springer, Dordrecht 1 (1984) 12–17. Crossref

(10). M.F. Maksimova, Y.M. Shmariovich, Plastovo-infiltratsionnoye rudoobrazovanie [Stratum-infiltration ore formation]. Nedra, Moscow, Russia, 1993, p. 160 (in Russian).

(11). M. A. Goldshtik, Processy perenosa v zernistom sloe [Transfer processes in granular layer], Institute of Thermophysics, Novosibirsk, Russia, 1984, p. 163 (in Russian).

(12). L.S. Evseeva, K.E. Ivanov, V.I. Kochetkov. Some laws of the formation of epigenetic uranium ores in sandstones, derived from experimental and radiochemical data, Atomnaya Energiya [Atomic Energy] 14 (1962) 474–481 (in Russian).

(13). J. Bear, Dynamics of Fluids in Porous Media. American Elsevier Publishing Company, New York, 1972, 764 p.

(14). N.T. Danaev, N.K. Korsakova, V.I. Pen’kovskij. Massoperenos v priskvazhinnoi zone i elektromagnitnyi karotazh plasta [Mass transfer in the borehole zone and electromagnetic stratum well logging], Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Kazakhstan, 2005, p. 180 (in Russian).

(15). K.G. Brovin, V.A. Grabovnikov, M.V. Shumilin, V.G. Yazikov. Prognoz, poiski, razvedka I promyshlennaya ocenka mestorozhdeniy urana dlya otrabotki podzemnym vyshelachivaniyem [Forecast, search, exploration and industrial estimation of uranium deposits for production with in-situ leaching method]. Gylym, Almaty, Kazakhstan, 1997, p. 384 (in Russian).
How to Cite
D. Aizhulov, N. Shayakhmetov, and A. Kaltayev, “Quantitative Model of the Formation Mechanism of the Rollfront Uranium Deposits”, Eurasian Chem.-Technol. J., vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 213-221, Sep. 2018.