Russia’s first production of beryllium will be designed in 2016, Deputy Vice-Rector for Research and Innovations at Tomsk Polytechnic University Alexander Dyachenko told TASS Thursday.
“This year, as planned, we have already received 1 kg of beryllium [a year ago it was about 100 grams – TASS], worked out the technology and technical regulations. Then we have to prepare the project of production and to bind it to the industrial site. This is for the next year,” Dyachenko said.
The first Russian pilot production of metallic beryllium and its compounds is estimated at 1.55 bln rubles ($22 mln). Starting production with a capacity of about 30 tonnes of metallic beryllium, which would fully satisfy the needs of Russia in this metal, is planned for 2020.
According to Dyachenko, Rosatom makes a decision on the location for production site. Currently, two sites are being considered – the Siberian Chemical Combine in Seversk, Tomsk region, and Priargunsky Industrial Mining and Chemical Union in Krasnokamensk, Trans-Baikal Territory. Dyachenko believes that Krasnokamensk would help to organize beryllium ore enrichment more effectively – up to 5%, and concentrate and hydrometallurgical production, which will be come a base for beryllium oxide and metal – in Seversk.
“The concentrating part should be organized in Krasnokamensk, because there is the largest Ermakovskoe deposit nearby, and then transfer the concentrate to Seversk, where there is space, and competencies for hydrometallurgy. It will be impossible to organize hydrometallurgical production in Krasnokamensk for the same price as in Tomsk,” he added.
Beryllium is currently produced only in the United States, China and Kazakhstan. The total world output is more than 300 tonnes per year. According to Dyachenko, the price of 1 kg of pure beryllium reaches $5,000. Tass