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SIGNIFICANT NdPr PRODUCTION TO POWER THE GREEN REVOLUTION

The Phalaborwa Rare Earths Project, located in South Africa, comprises approximately 35 million tonnes of gypsum resulting from historic phosphate hard rock mining, containing rare earth elements with an estimated average in situ grade of 0.6% TREO, based on previous sampling campaigns, of which 30% comprises high-value NdPr.  The rare earths are contained in chemical form in the gypsum stacks, which is expected to deliver a higher-value rare earth carbonate, with lower operating costs than a typical rare earth mineral project.

Download the Phalaborwa factsheet here.

Proven processing at Phalaborwa

Historical processing at Phalaborwa, including initial flotation by Foskor followed by further processing in Sasol’s PhosAcid plant, deposited a gypsum residue with upgraded REE’s in chemical form in stacks. Initial reports suggest low levels of radioactive elements, similar to those seen at Rainbow’s Gakara Project. The pilot plant developed by Sasol successfully produced 3t mixed rare earth carbonate and an associated cerium depleted oxide from the gypsum. This pilot plant remains on site and is available to be recommissioned under the agreement.

Carbonate versus concentrate

The REE minerals in at Phalaborwa have already been “cracked” and exist in chemical form in the two gypsum stacks. This delivers important benefits compared to a traditional rare earth mining project: