February 2012 Updates To The TMR Rare-Earth Projects Index

by Gareth Hatch on February 17, 2012 · 9 comments

in Rare Earths, Tools & Metrics

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I recently updated the list of projects on the TMR Advanced Rare-Earth Projects Index, to reflect three new rare-earth mineral-resource estimates that were announced recently. I also made some other updates. The specifics:

  • AMR Mineral Metal Inc. announced an NI-43-101-compliant mineral-resource estimate for its Çanakli I project in Turkey, on August 12, 2011. According to the associated press release, 49 Mt of the resource is at the Inferred level @ 0.073% TREO (with no cut-off grade).
  • Tantalus Rare Earths AG (F:TAE:GR) announced a JORC-compliant mineral-resource estimate for its Tantalus project in Madagascar, on December 20, 2011. According to the associated press release, 130 Mt of the resource is at the Inferred level @ 0.08 wt% TREO (at a zero cut-off grade).
  • IAMGOLD Corporation (TSX:IMG, NYSE:IAG) announced an NI-43-101-compliant mineral-resource estimate for its Niobec project in Canada, on Feb 2, 2012. According to the associated press release, 466.8 Mt of the resource is at the Inferred level @ 1.65 wt% TREO (at a cut-off grade of 0.5% TREO).
  • I have also updated the pricing used in the Index data, to reflect the average monthly prices for December 2011 and the moving three-year average price for separated rare-earth oxides.
In addition, to the new projects above, two companies with projects on the Index announced updates to their existing resource estimates:

  • On February 3, 2012, MBAC Fertilizer Corp. (TSX:MBC) announced a revision to its NI-43-101-compliant mineral-resource estimate for its Araxá project in Brazil. According to the associated press release, the new resource estimate now includes only data for oxides of La, Ce and Y, with previously included numbers for other rare earths removed, since they were based on indirect calculations. 2.7 Mt of the resource is at the Inferred level @ 6.61 wt% TREO (comprised at this point of oxides of La, Ce and Y only), at a cut-off grade of 6 wt%.
  • Kimberley Rare Earths Limited (ASX:KRE) announced an update to its JORC-compliant mineral-resource estimate for its Cummins Range project in Australia, on February 13, 2012. According to the associated press release, 4.9 Mt of the resource is at the Inferred level @ 1.74 wt% TREO (at a cut-off grade of 1 wt% TREO).

FYI, TMR is now tracking a total of 419 rare-earth projects under development associated with 258 different companies in 36 different countries.

You can access the updated details via the Index page.

Disclosure: at the time of writing, Gareth Hatch holds no shares or stock options in any of the companies mentioned in this article, or in any publicly traded rare-earth company, nor is he doing paid consulting for any such company.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Horacio Carvalho February 18, 2012 at 3:55 am

Hi Gareth
I would like to congratulate you for these updates very usefull.
We run a WEEE recycling operation with all types of Waste Electric, electronic Equipment, and as such we get a lot of PCB's with REE's.
I would like to know if you are familiar with the 'process recovery' of these as we are looking at new technologies to extract them from the PCB's.
Thanking in anticipation of any information, best, Horacio Carvalho

2 robit February 18, 2012 at 5:47 am

I found at least a partial answer to something I have wondered about for quite some time. From the IMC website:

"IMC recently initiated research at a prestigious Chinese REE research institute, which subsequently demonstrated that multiple rare-earth concentrates, produced from various REE-bearing mineral sources, can be processed together effectively, resulting in attractive recovery rates."

I suppose that concept would not be embraced by 100% of those with practical experience in separation techniques, although that sort of negative claim has always been made regarding the leading edge of change.

I will start taking special note of disclosures that the ore from a particular deposit is amenable to very inexpensive methods of culling out non-ree-bearing "stuff" (and/or low % from high %) and what the TREO % would be after the culling. It seems like there might be times when the IMC facility would be spiting out more of a non-ree critical metal than it is rees.

3 Tekton February 19, 2012 at 11:58 am

In response to Robit's comment "I will start taking special note of disclosures that the ore from a particular deposit is amenable to very inexpensive methods of culling out non-ree-bearing “stuff” (and/or low % from high %) and what the TREO % would be after the culling" , I recall a question posed a couple years ago about the deposits at Bokan Mountain. Acording to the archived data reports from USGS or USMS in the 80's I think, they were able to achieve 99% extraction of Yttrium using the simplest acid solvent extraction. The question was whether this level of extraction would act as a predictor for REEs as well.
So, Gareth. might you, Jack, or Patrick or others have some insight here?

4 robit February 21, 2012 at 8:15 am

Search Minerals said last week there is a distinct difference between the ore with the good ree content and the ore with low ree content and that should let them do an inexpensive culling. I have a vague memory of another company disclosing culling by magnetic attraction. I will try to find which one that was. I believe the vein formation at Bokan would allow much of the culling to be done by the operator of the rock eater. (what is the correct name of the piece of equipment that will be used)

5 robit February 21, 2012 at 11:42 am

The magnetic assisted culling news was from Tasman. See the 9 Feb press release:
http://www.tasmanmetals.com/s/Home.asp

6 robit February 22, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Greenland has a new ASX announcement that says they can reduce the ree and uranium bearing part of the ore down to less than 15% of the original mass using froth flotation. Then they can do economical leaching on the reduced portion without pressure. Kvanefjeld is about 2,300 km of open sea to Riviere du Loup. (which seems to me like a good place for a central separation facility)

7 robit February 23, 2012 at 9:02 am

I would like to change that location to Sept-Iles on the north side of the Gulf of St Lawrence.

8 ringo February 23, 2012 at 11:22 am

reply to Horacio Carvalho:

There is a company RETRENCH in UK that has a great knowledge about extracting and recycling of WEEE i know that they already run some activities and the guys there are quite flexible. You might try and contact them.

9 Gareth Hatch February 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm

@Horacio Carvalho: thanks for the note - happy to discuss this topic. Feel free to drop me a line directly via ghatch (-at-) techmetalsresearch.com.

@robit: a lot of folks don't realize that the blending of multiple concentrates for separation is already being done in China, and has been for sometime. Certainly not an easy process, but it is doable.

Magnetic separation is a useful way of separation fractional from within process streams, especially if the differential between materials that respond and those that don't, is significant.

@Tekton: I recall that report - I think the term used was that Yttrium could be seen as a proxy for the other HREEs present. I took issue at the time that the report was referenced publicly by Ucore, with any implication that the results implied similar recoveries for other HREEs. Only an actual test could tell us that.

@ringo: are you connected with RETRENCH?

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