VANCOUVER – Search Minerals and its subsidiary Alterra Resources have successfully scaled up the company’s proprietary direct extraction process and produced a high grade rare earth elements (REE) product with a purity of 98.9% rare earth oxides.
The tests were performed at SGS Minerals with funding support of both the Research and Development Corp. of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
Search is working the Foxtrot advanced exploration project 35 km from Port Hope Simpson, NL. The recent tests were performed on a channel sample from that property. The sample was crushed, contacted with sulphuric acid, and then passed through a pilot scale kiln and heated to 200°C. The kiln product was next leached in water at 10% solids for 24 hours. The leach slurry was filtered and the leachate purified by adjusting the pH with the addition of magnesium carbonate to reject impurities.
From samples that graded 1.12% total rare earth oxides (TREO), the final product contained 98.9% TREO+Y was made. Recover rates for various elements averaged 65%.
See the news release of Feb. 2, 2015, for additional details.