Rainbow Rare Earths #RBW CEO George Bennett targets break-even in Q1 2021 from Burundi mine

Rainbow Rare Earths CEO George Bennett joined London South East from Johannesburg to give us an operational update on the Rare Earths miner.

#RBW are AIM-listed and operate a ‘trial’ Rare Earths mine in Gakara, Burundi, one of only three listed mines outside China.

They have also recently acquired and are currently developing a further alternative source of Rare Earth minerals in the South African mining town of Phalaborwa. Over 50/60 years two Gypsum stacks (dumped Gypsum concentrate) have been built up as a by-product from a factory creating phosphoric acid. This chemical by-product of the industrial process contains trace elements of Rare Earths at 0.6%.

“A pilot plant has already been built and successfully produced three tons of carbonate which was sold, which proves it can be done” said George. “Its important to say this will be a chemical process and not a mining one, and it will done on the old Sasol plant.

Rainbow was initially recapitalised with a mix of equity and loans, and has now been put on a firm financial footing with the raise of £2.65 million in a share placing.

Capital is to be allocated 50/50 between the Gakara and Phalaborwa projects. Although in production, the Gakara mine is still in a trial phase with a pilot processing plant. The new team led by George have changed the method of recovery to open cast pit from alluvial and have purchased an excavator and lorries to facilitate the process.

“I realised the Gakara project hadn’t gone through the initial stages of full-scale exploration and feasibility studies, and that’s what we will do now. What they did well was prove the route to market, and we have an offtake agreement with ThysennKrupp in China. Our trial mining concentrate is grading at 54% TREO which means Total Rare Earth Oxides, and one of the highest in the world, and we are producing a consistent Rare Earth concentrate.

The aim is to hit break-even in Q1 2021, with the “highest amount of ore produced so far – between 1,200 and 1500 tons”.

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