ONTARIO – Pele Mountain Resources of Toronto is investigating processing changes that will boost recoveries of critical rare earth oxides (REO) at its Eco Ridge project at Elliot Lake. The company is particularly interested in maximizing recovery of neodymium, dysprosium and yttrium oxides (Pele’s Big 3 REO).
The revised flowsheet will include acid baking rather than the heap leach and bioleach methods proposed when the preliminary economic assessment was published in 2007. Acid baking is a well-established process for extracting REO from monazite, the primary REO bearing mineral at Eco Ridge.
The new flowsheet will also include crushing, grinding and ore concentration using magnetic separation and flotation prior to acid baking. Organic solvent will be used to recover uranium, and the resulting aqueous stream will contain REO values. The preliminary flowsheet is posted at www.PeleMountain.com/pdfs/PrelimBlockFlowDiagram.pdf.
Pele Mountain expects to have an updated PEA prepared during Q1 2012.