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Rainbow Rare Earths begins rare earth oxide separation at pilot plant

The date of: 2024-01-16
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source:mining review

Rainbow Rare Earths is advancing its Phalaborwa pilot plant programme in both South Africa and the U.S. The company has initiated the rare earth oxide separation process at its partner K-Technologies, Inc.’s facilities in Lakeland, Florida.

Innovative technology in rare earth separation for Rainbow Rare Earths

The back-end plant in Florida employs continuous ion exchange (CIX) and continuous ion chromatography (CIC) to produce separated rare earth oxides. This technique, pioneered by K-Tech, is an alternative to traditional solvent extraction methods. It will yield critical rare earths used in permanent magnets, including neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, and terbium. A video showcasing the CIX / CIC test runs at K-Tech’s facilities is available on the Rainbow website.

Bench scale testwork by K-Tech has shown promising results in rare earth oxide separation. The CIX / CIC pilot plant’s continuous run has started, with the first separated oxides of neodymium and praseodymium expected soon, followed by dysprosium and terbium.

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