TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Mineral and applications technology company Rare Earth Salts (RES) has signed a five-year commercial agreement with significant buyer of retorted compact fluorescent lightbulb phosphor powder, Rare Earth Recovery Sciences (RERS), to produce separated rare-earth oxides in the US.
RERS would produce a rare-earth concentrate in collaboration with Lighting Resources, using technology provided by RES. The concentrate would be shipped to RES's Nebraska facility for separation and purification.
The agreement would ultimately see the production of 18 metric tons a month of rare-earth oxides, following an initial ramp-up period, with the potential to eventually expand production to 30 t/m.
The partners expected to produce high-purity yttrium, europium, terbium, cerium and lanthanum oxides, with initial saleable product expected in the second half of 2016.
"We have been evaluating the rare-earth market for some time given our significant stockpile of retorted phosphor powder. RES's technology allows for the economic production of rare earths from this stockpile despite the current depressed pricing environment,” commented RERS CEO Graham Wollaston.
RES had developed a patent-pending industrial technology proven to efficiently and economically separate and refine all 16 rare-earth elements to high purity.