@LondonSouthEast caught up with Rainbow Rare Earths CEO George Bennett, who reminded us that the Phalaborwa gypsum stacks project was only secured just over a year ago.
“We have confirmed a Rare Earths resource to an inferred stage and we have been doing considerable test, metallurgical and optimisation work with the ANSTO Laboratory in Sydney, Australia, a leading mining laboratory, and extensive work with K-Tech in Florida. You may remember we did a deal last year to use their IP to extract and separate rare earths from our phosphate gypsum in Phalaborwa.”
“The current price of the Rare Earths which we are interested in are sitting at record highs and this is driven by structural changes rather than cyclical demand. The demand for wind turbine power, electric vehicles, cell phones etc is driven by long term trends.
“K-Tech have confirmed we can use sulphuric acid as our key reagent to dissolve the gypsum and start taking the Rare Earths out, and that’s already available to us from the copper mine next door at Phalaborwa. We have been able to optimise the amount of sulphuric acid we will be using, one third of where we started. We have also been able to drop the leach time from 24 hour leach to 12 hour leach just by adding steam. This means we require smaller tanks and downstreams flows, all of which reduces our capex and our opex.”
So what kind of recoveries can we expect? “Somewhere around 66% of the Rare Earths which we feed in can be recovered, and very importantly, the K-Tech study has confirmed that we will be able to produce separated Rare Earth oxides, much further than can be achieved with most Rare Earth oxides around the world. This means we get 88% of the separated Rare Earths price published in China, a 47% increase in projected revenues, 47% better than we thought we could achieve initially.
This work will feed into our Bankable Feasibility Study as we continue to optimise our process in the coming months.
#RBW #RainbowRareEarths #GeorgeBennett #Rare Earths #NdPr #SouthAfrica #Phalaborwa #Burundi #K-Tech #ANSTOLaboratories