Namibia Rare Earths produces first heavy rare-earths concentrate

3rd April 2013

By: Henry Lazenby

Creamer Media Deputy Editor: North America


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TORONTO ( – Canada’s Namibia Rare Earths on Wednesday said it has produced a concentrate grading 8.39% total rare-earth oxide (TREO), with 96.1% heavy rare-earth enrichment, from a sample of the high-grade mineralisation from its Lofdal project in north-western Namibia.

The company said it had received a preliminary metallurgical report from South African minerals research and development organisation Mintek, which confirmed that a xenotime concentrate could be produced from the fine-grained mineralisation of the project, and that thorium could be removed from concentrates on site.

The concentrate was produced from a sample with a head grade of 1.37% TREO and achieved an overall recovery of 64.7% TREOs.

Concentrates were also produced from sorted product and from fines.

“These preliminary results from Mintek indicate that we will be able to produce valuable concentrates from Lofdal that are extremely enriched in heavy rare earths, most notably in dysprosium, yttrium, terbium and europium.

“We have also determined that the removal of thorium can be achieved at site using conventional leaching techniques,” Namibia Rare Earths president Don Burton said.

He added that the work by Tomra Sorting Solutions had confirmed the potential to significantly reduce the volume of run-of-mine material that must go to the mill for grinding, thereby increasing the grade of the mill feed and reducing operating costs. Tomra concluded that, with optimisation, the company could expect to effectively double the grade of the feed going to the mill and eliminate half of the mined material as waste.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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