News News
Contact us
  • Customer service number:64321087
  • Commercial service telephone:13918059423
  • Technical service telephone:13918059423
  • Contact person: Mr. Cui 
  • Service
  • Address: room 107, building 8, no. 100, guilin road, xuhui district, Shanghai

Rare earth developer secures funding for processing plant

The date of: 2021-12-16
viewed: 1


CASPER — Wyoming’s nascent rare earth elements industry may be inching closer to commercialization.
Rare Element Resources, the mineral exploration and development company behind the Bear Lodge mining project in northeastern Wyoming, announced Saturday that it had secured funding for a demonstration-scale separation and processing plant in Upton, nine miles from its proposed rare earths mine.
Rare earths are key components of technologies like cellphones, computers, televisions and batteries, and are used in industrial processes like petroleum refining and glass making. Because wind turbines, solar panels and electric cars require them, too, the expansion of clean energy technologies is driving up demand for rare earth elements.
Though Wyoming boasts substantial deposits of the 17 rare earth elements, which are actually abundant in nature but don’t often occur in large enough quantities to mine affordably, the economics and environmental impacts of extraction and processing have deterred U.S. development. But with the support of the federal government, several rare earth companies are now looking to establish domestic processing for the first time in decades.
After receiving a $21.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Rare Element Resources raised an additional $25.1 million from private investors. It expects the combined sum to cover the costs of designing, licensing, engineering and constructing the demonstration plant.
The company has already tested its separation and processing methods at small-scale pilot plants in Canada and Germany.
“To envision a pilot plant, I tell people, OK, look at something that you can put in your garage,” said George Byers, a consultant for the company. “For a demonstration-scale plant, look at something you can stick in a small high school gym. And for the full-scale plant that we’re going to build there, it’s going to be like the small schoolhouse tacked onto the gym.”
The demonstration plant in Upton is essentially a stepping stone, intended to make sure all the technology will work at an intermediate size before it’s employed at a commercial scale. But if it works, Rare Element Resources hopes to build its commercial separation and processing facility at the same site.
The company aims to begin operations at the demonstration plant by mid-2025. It hasn’t yet set a timeline for the full-scale facility or the Bear Lodge mine.
“We’re going to let the results from the demo plant dictate our next steps,” Byers said.
The demonstration plant will use ore that’s already been recovered and stockpiled as part of the Bear Lodge project, the company said. Eventually, though, it hopes that the commercial plant will be able not only to process materials from its own mines, but to extract rare earths from less-concentrated sources like coal and coal ash.
While many rare earths are present at the proposed mines, the company will focus primarily on the high-value magnet components neodymium and praseodymium, along with other rare earth elements like samarium, europium and gadolinium, Byers said.
If the demonstration plant is successful, the company will have to secure a number of additional local, state and federal permits — including approval from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Forest Service — before it can scale up operations.
“We’ve got some other things to do,” Byers said. “But getting the funding and all finalized — and we were oversubscribed on that — we will now be able to undertake construction of the demo plant.”

Hot News / Related to recommend
  • 2023 - 09 - 28
    Click on the number of times: 0
    source:ScienceNewsExploresA rare earth element is one of 17 elements on the periodic table. These 17 metals include 15 “lanthanides.” Those are elements 57 to 71. Scandium (element 21) and yttrium (el...
  • 2023 - 09 - 26
    Click on the number of times: 0
    source:SASKTODAYREGINA — Immigration and Career Training and Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison, is leading a delegation to the United Kingdom (UK) and Poland.The mission's focu...
  • 2023 - 09 - 25
    Click on the number of times: 0
    source:malaymailKUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — A member of the Dewan Negara suggested today that the government set up an agency, body or government-linked company (GLC) to supervise and manage all rare eart...
  • 2023 - 09 - 22
    Click on the number of times: 1
    source:subscribeOD6 Metals looks set to turbocharge the hulking resource at its Splinter Rock project in Esperance after revealing new rare earths assays with grades of up to 4159 parts per million to...
  • Copyright ©Copyright 2018 2020 Shanghai rare earth association All Rights Reserved Shanghai ICP NO.2020034223
    the host:Shanghai Association of Rare Earth the guide:Shanghai Development and Application Office of Rare Earth the organizer:Shanghai rare earth industry promotion center