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Vimbainashe Dzimbanhete Photo: Privat
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"I will conduct a geochemical study on the sources, mobility, and fate of uranium at LKAB"

Published: 1 March 2022

Vimbainashe Dzimbanhete is a doctoral student in applied geochemistry at Luleå University of Technology.

What are you going to work on?

I will conduct a geochemical study on the sources, mobility, and fate of uranium at LKAB’s mining sites in Northern Sweden starting with the Svappavaara mine site. Uranium is classified as a special pollutant of inland surface and coastal waters in Sweden. Concentration threshold recommendations for uranium in Swedish waters are 0.17 µg/L (annual average) and 8,6 µg/L (maximum allowable). Uranium concentrations exceeding these values have been detected in recipient rivers that receive process water discharged from LKAB’s mining operations. Therefore, my project will entail identifying uranium-bearing minerals that are weathered and oxidized to release uranium into the process water, identifying process or geochemical conditions that promote uranium mobility, and determining the fate of dissolved uranium in LKAB’s process water. The main outcome of my Ph.D. project will be a geochemical model that will help mining companies flag uranium-bearing minerals that can be weathered and oxidized to release uranium in their mining operations and the geochemical conditions that promote uranium mobility.

Tell us a little about your background

I was born and raised in a small mining town called Zvishavane in Zimbabwe. I am a Chemical Engineer, with a bachelor’s degree from the University in Cape Town in South Africa. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I specialized in mineral & metallurgical processing and ore characterization under the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) labeled master’s program called Emerald. During my master’s degree, I completed an exchange semester at LTU and decided that l wanted to come back to start my doctoral studies, so here l am!

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy alpine skiing especially from the end of February and March when spring starts, the landscape is so beautiful. I also like to hike, cook, bake, and immerse myself in a good book during my free time.

Vimbainashe Dzimbanhete

Vimbainashe Dzimbanhete, PhD Student

Phone: +46 (0)920 493510
Organisation: Applied Geochemistry, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering