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Steenkampskraal may supply thorium for use in cancer therapy

Steenkampskraal monazite mine

Steenkampskraal monazite mine

7th June 2024

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer

     

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Producer and supplier of alpha-particle emitters for cancer therapy Thor Medical has signed a memorandum of understanding with rare earths and thorium miner Steenkampskraal Holdings for feedstock supply and technology cooperation. 

The aim is for the parties to enter into a long-term partnership agreement for the supply of feedstock as part of Thor Medical’s strategy of developing multiple feedstock suppliers.

The Steenkampskraal monazite mine, in the Western Cape, is considered to have among the highest concentration of rare earth elements and thorium globally.

Steenkampskraal says the mine’s abundant resources of natural thorium are sufficient to meet the global demand for medical isotopes from its decay for the foreseeable future.

The company says its plan is to leverage Thor Medical’s expertise to efficiently produce valuable alpha-emitters for use in next-generation cancer treatment from feedstock from Steenkampskraal’s mineral resources. 

“The cooperation with Steenkampskraal can support Thor Medical’s ambitions for the planned industrial-scale production to meet the growing demand for medical isotopes globally.

“We look forward to developing partnership agreements with Steenkampskraal as we build our network of suppliers,” says Thor Medical CEO Alf Bjørseth.

Construction of the Steenkampskraal monazite mine is targeted to start by the end of this year. Production of thorium is targeted for the end of 2025.

“The board of Steenkampskraal is very excited about, and looks forward to, entering into the cooperation agreement with Thor Medical as it highlights even more, the intrinsic value of our monazite ore, not just financially and in the critical minerals space, but also in the critical medical treatment space,” says Steenkampskraal executive chairperson Enock Mathebula.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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