Peak Resources (ASX:PEK) announced the demonstration of a simple metallurgical flowsheet which resulted in a high grade, high purity rare earth carbonate product taken from samples from its Tanzanian Ngualla Project. Ngualla is reportedly the world’s fifth largest rare earth deposit outside of China.
Highlights from the press release include:
- Milestone reached – “Proof of Concept” test work on a selected sulphuric acid leach flow sheet completed ahead of schedule
- The sulphuric acid leach process utilises proven technology with lower capital and operating costs, and provides significant environmental advantages to other leaching methods
- An overall process recovery of 87% was achieved
- A high grade (50.3% REO) high purity rare earth carbonate product was generated
- Uranium and thorium grades are 7ppm and 12ppm respectively in the rare earth concentrate product
- Peak is now in a position to engage strategic partners and off-take customers
- Hatch have been engaged to commence engineering work in Q4 2012 on the process plant
Achieving this milestone after nine months of test work is outstanding when compared to the typical time frames taken by the rare earth resource industry and reaffirms the company’s target of commencing production in early 2016, a significantly shorter period to deliver than other typical rare earth projects.
The metallurgical test work to date has indicated that the capital expenditure for this extraction process will be low to the rest of the industry and importantly the environmental advantages to this type of process against other leaching methods are significant.
Peak is now in a position to engage with strategic partners and off-take customers to define the product specifications required, commence discussions for long term supply of product and to facilitate commercial financing arrangements to deliver to project to production.
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