ASX-listed Greenland Minerals and
Energy Ltd (GMEL) has successfully
operated a 26 tonne pilot plant for the Kvanefjeld rare earths
deposit’s beneficiation circuit in Greenland.
The plant successfully met its primary aim
of producing 2 tonnes rare earths concentrate, which will be
used in the upcoming pilot refinery circuit in GTK
Finland’s lahoratories in Pori,
The plant processed 26 tonnes ore for over
100 hours to produce the 2 tonnes concentrate and recovered
more than 80% of the rare earths.
GMEL said that the pilot plant operations
are "all-important" in the de-risking of the project, and that
the successful operation of the beneficiation circuit
demonstrated the effectiveness of the process flowsheet.
Also listed in Australia, Northern
Minerals Ltd has secured 100% ownership of the John
Galt rare earths project in northern Western Australia.
Northern signed an agreement in 2010 with
Arnhem Resources for the right to acquire the
project within a four year period. It described the project as
a "strategic part" of its asset base.
A combination of cash payments and share
distribution has been organised by Northern in receipt of the
Northern said the project was
complimentary to its existing and most-developed Browns Range
project, as it has a similar xenotime-based mineralisation
profile and a high proportion of heavy rare earths, which
typically command higher prices than light rare earths.
In Canada, Montreal-headquartered
Geomega Resources Inc. has updated the mineral
resource estimate for its Montviel project in Quebec.
Montviel now has a total indicated
resource of 82.4m tonnes grading at 1.51% total rare earth
oxides (TREO) and total inferred resources of 184.2m tonnes at
"Following the conversion from open pit to
underground mining, resources have been classified using new
criteria compared to the initial resource estimate of September
2011," Alain Cayer, vice president of exploration at Geomega,
Geomega also announced the close of the
first tranche of a private placement for gross proceeds of
$835,000. The company expects to fully close the placement,
which is destined for corporate expenses and for
Geomega’s gold interests, by around 30 June
TSX-V-listed Commerce Resources
Corp. has announced drilling results from a further
five holes at its Ashram rare earths deposit in Northern
Commerce listed the highlights of its
winter/spring drilling programme as a 6.75 metre section at
3.04% TREO, including 1.45 metres at 4.56% TREO, and 42.31
metres at 2.35% TREO.
The drilling programme has been aimed at
increasing the resource confidence from inferred to measured
and indicated, Commerce said.
A total of 18 holes for 1,990 metres of
drilling are yet to be reported, out of 31 holes drilled during
the programme for 4,146 metres.
US-based Rare Element Resources
Ltd has completed a set of key state and federal
applications for permitting for its Bear Lodge rare earths
project in Wyoming.
A 150-day review period has begun for Rare
Element’s application to the Wyoming Department of
Environmental Quality and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission
notified the company that their 90-day licence acceptance
review process official began on 26 May 2015.
"Submitting these very important permit
applications continues to advance the Bear Lodge Project and
put us on a direct path towards completion of the regulatory
requirements for permitting," Jaye Pickarts, chief operating
officer at Rare Element, said.
"While other state, federal and local
government permits and approvals will be required, the data
gathered and work done for these two principal applications
will form the foundation for the remaining applications,"
Researchers at the University of
Pennsylvania in the US have identified a new method
for recycling rare earths magnets, which diverges from the
"energy intensive" liquid-liquid extraction process used to
separate neodymium and dysprosium today.
The process, researched in a team led by
Eric Schelter, results in dysprosium being precipitated as a
solid, while neodymium, the other major rare earth component of
high-strength permanent magnets, stays dissolved in
Powdered material containing the neodymium
and dysprosium was mixed with an engineered ligand, a chemical
compound that can attract specific dissolved ions, rather than
"catch-all" dissolving in acid alternatives.
"The difference in size between the two
ions is not that significant, which is why this separation
problem is difficult," Schelter said. "But it’s
enough to cause that aperture to open up more for neodymium.
And, because it is more open, one ligand neodymium complex can
combine with another and that really changes its
"A potential magnet recycler probably does
not have the capital to invest in an entire liquid-liquid
separations plant, so having a chemical technology that can
instantaneously separate these elements enables smaller scale
recyclers to get value out of their materials," Schelter
Meanwhile, at Tohoku
University in Japan, researchers have developed to
convert squalene, a compound produced by microalgae, into
kerosene and other hydrocarbon products, through the use of a
Supported on a bed of cerium oxide, the
sub-nanometre sized ruthenium particles acted as a catalyst to
preferentially separate methyl branches on the squalene
compound and branched alkanes were produced without the loss of
Branched hydrocarbons are preferable fuel
components, owing to their high octane number – a
measure of how efficiently a blend of fuel can combust. Low
octane number fuels typically disrupt the motion of four-stroke
engines, leading to high cylinder pressure and possibly engine
Published in the Japanese science journal
ChemSusChem in June, the researched catalyst was used
four times without any loss of performance.
In the UK, a surge of wind turbine
construction is expected following the decision of the new
majority Conservative Party government to end
a subsidy scheme for the renewable energy generators, according
to The Times. Wind turbine magnets contain a
substantial mass of rare earth elements – mostly
neodymium and dysprosium.
"We are driving forward our commitment to
end new onshore wind subsidies and give local communities the
final say over any new windfarms," said the new Energy and
Climate Change Secretary, Amber Rudd. "Onshore wind is an
important part of our energy mix and we now have enough
subsidised projects in the pipeline to meet our renewable
"This mistake will cost the UK dearly,"
environmental pressure group, Greenpeace, said.
"Even if this omnishambles of an energy
policy survives the many legal challenges
threatened against it, it will send a clear message to
international investors that the UK government is willing to
wreck our power sector to please their most ideological