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Brook Mine contains rare earth elements used for electric vehicles, medical devices

The date of: 2023-05-09
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source:Staff Reports

SHERIDAN — Following 18 months of core drilling and independent chemical analysis, Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory researchers and Ramaco Carbon, Inc. now believe that the Brook Mine property contains deposits of rare earth elements, according to a press release from Ramaco.
According to the release, the mine ranks among the highest relative concentrations yet discovered of magnetic rare earth elements, such as heavy rare earth elements terbium and dysprosium, as well as lighter rare earth elements such as neodymium and praseodymium. 
Initial estimates are that approximately 28% of deposit concentrations may be in the form of magnetic rare earth elements.
NETL analysis shows that core samples from the Brook Mine represent magnetic rare earth elements and heavy rare earth elements accumulations. 
These deposits contain rare earth elements on par with conventional rare earth elements deposits, but with much less of the low-value lanthanum and cerium that must be removed by separations.
There is currently only one active mine for magnetic rare earth elements in the United States, located near the Mojave Desert in California. Magnetic rare earth element materials are used in electric vehicle motors, advanced military technology and medical devices, as examples.
“The coal seams can contain significant quantity of REEs, making the coal seams an attractive source for these valuable minerals on an ash-basis,” said a report from Weir International. “The REEs are believed to have been incorporated into the coal during its formation and are found in association with clay minerals and organic matter in the coal seams. Interburden between the coal seams also contain elevated levels of REEs, primarily in clays, carbonaceous clays and siltstones and not necessarily associated to the coal seams.… Ramaco’s sample collection, preparation, security and testing protocols are well documented and suffice to provide consistent, reliable and verifiable data.”
“We of course recognize that any new mine project, especially one involving emerging technology, is fraught with uncertainty,” Atkins continued. “There is much work to do, before we can determine the commercial feasibility of (rare earth elements) extraction at the Brook Mine. But we will evaluate the overall business proposition of developing these (rare earth elements) critical minerals to their highest value proposition to Ramaco, and frankly also to the country.”

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