Medium and heavy rare earth projects outside China

Source:Zhang Xun, China Metal Mining Date:2020-06-15Position:Industry News

Rare earth is not rare, heavy rare earth is the strategic mineral. China's Ganzhou is the world's most abundant medium and heavy rare earth resources. Due to environmental protection, most of the ionized rare earth mines in Southern Jiangxi have been closed and discontinued. Myanmar has become a major source country for China's ion-type rare earth minerals. Rare earth projects outside China have become more attractive as prices for medium and heavy rare earths such as terbium oxide and dysprosium oxide rise. Here are nine major medium-heavy rare earth projects outside China .
I. Lofdal project in Namibia
The Namibia Rofdal project, currently the only heavy rare earth project on the African continent, is owned by Canada's Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Namibia Critical Metals Inc.
The Rovdahl Heavy Rare Earth project completed its preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) in 2014, environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in 2016 and environmental approval certificate in 2017. The mineral deposits are dominated by phosphoyttrium and are rich in heavy rare earth terbium, dysprosium and other elements.
The Romex project in Russia.
The heavy rare earth project, developed by Russian Romex Limited, 155 km southeast of murmansk City, Russia, has a 64-year mine life and 64 million tons of proven resources, with 0.49% of the total rare earth content (including 40% heavy rare earth). The ore composition is 22.54% rare earth ore, 19.97% aegirine stone, 19.65% nepheline and 20.04% feldspar. The recovery rate of rare earth minerals from ore to concentrate is 83.2%. It plans to produce about 1m tonnes of rare earth ore a year, including 3,000 tonnes of mixed rare earth oxides. An Australian company and a Russian company have each expressed interest in investing in the project.
III. Browns Range, Australia
The Browns Range Project in Western Australia, wholly owned by Australia's Northern Minerals Limited, is on track to become the largest source of medium and heavy rare earth supplies outside China. Australia's Linus Is already the largest producer of light rare earths outside China.
As of June 39, 2019, reserves of dysprosium, terbium and yttrium at Browshan were 1,948 tons, 288 tons and 12,969 tons, respectively (Table 2). Dysprosium will provide about 60% of the project's revenue.
Dubbo project in Australia
The Project, developed by Australian gold and rare-earth listed Alkane Resources Limited, will have a total investment of About A $1.3 billion (US $857 million) and a designed capacity of 1 million tons of ore per year. It will produce 6,664 tons of rare earth oxides a year, including 122 tons of dysprosium, 14 tons of terbium and 1,031 tons of yttrium, 921 tons of neodymium and 237 tons of dymium. The mine has 75 years of service, an internal rate of return of 17.5% and a net present value of A $1.24 billion.
V. The Round Top project,United Stated.
Texas Mineral Resources Corp. 's dome-heavy rare earth project is located in Harzpace County, about 85 miles southwest of El Paso, Texas. The company's advisory board includes former members of Congress, professors, and the former director of the U.S. Geological Survey.
VI.BokanMountain,United States
The project, based in Alaska, is being developed by Ucore Rare Metals Inc., a Canadian company. According to the company's preliminary economic assessment released in January 2013, about 40% of the elements are heavy rare earths by weight.
VI.Strange Lake project in Canada
Developed by Torngat Metals Limited, a Montreal-based Canadian company, the Lake Exotic Rare earths project has 4.9 million tons of rare earth oxides, a 30-year history and deposits of 4.1 percent dysprosium terbium and 15.8 percent dymium. The company released a preliminary economic evaluation of the project on December 16, 2019, with an estimated total investment of $615 million and a pre-tax internal rate of return of 24%. Production will start in 2024 with an annual output of 11,150 tons of rare earth oxides. The pre-feasibility study is expected to be completed by 2021 with a funding of approximately us $6 million, and the Canadian Government of Quebec Investment Agency is considering providing part of the research funding.
VII. Norra Karr project, Sweden
Developed by Canada-based Leading Edge Materials Corp., the norakal project, about 300 kilometers southwest of Stockholm, is the eu's only deposit of heavy rare earths. The mine was first discovered by Tasman Metals Co., Ltd. in 2009, and moved to the pre-feasibility stage in 2015. The service life of the mine is 20 years, and it can produce 5,000 tons of rare earth oxides annually.
VIII. Serra Verde in Brazil
Developed by Brazilian mining company Sarawide Rare Earths, the Company was founded in 2008 and is controlled by Denham Capital, a U.S. investment fund focused on natural resources and energy. The mine is located in Minasu County, Goias Province, Brazil, about 504 km from Goiania city, capital of Goias province.

Through the introduction of the above nine medium-heavy rare earth projects outside China, we can see that:
Scarcity of medium and heavy rare earth resources: These eight projects are scattered in Africa (1), North America (3), South America (1), Europe (2) and Oceania (2). Currently, only the Brown-Hill project in Australia has realized production (pilot plant).

In addition to medium and heavy rare earth resources, most of these projects are associated with other metal minerals such as hafnium, zirconium, lithium and niobium, etc. Only by comprehensively exploiting all resources can the projects become more economical.