U3O8 Corp. (TSX:UWE, OTCQX:UWEFF) announced that by adding an acid (vinegar) step to the leaching process, they are able to more effectively extract minerals, including rare earths.
As quoted in the press release:
Adding an acetic acid (vinegar) leach step to the metallurgical process by which the uranium, phosphate, vanadium, rare earths and other metals are extracted from the Berlin Project in Colombia, results in the following benefits: The reduction of acid costs by 50%, the production of a potentially saleable gypsum by-product, the concentration of the payable elements into 40-47% of the original mass through the selective removal of carbonate minerals and the reduction in the volume of tailings by 50-60%. Taken together these benefits could have a material impact on project economics including reduced operating and capital costs, additional by-product credits as well as smaller equipment and tailings requirements.
U3O8 Corp’s President & CEO, Dr. Richard Spencer, said:
U3O8 Corp’s extensive metallurgical testing has resulted in the development of a straightforward ferric leach method that works very efficiently to extract the mix of commodities on the Berlin Project. This latest advance of leaching the mineralized material with vinegar makes the subsequent ferric iron leach process more efficient.