ONTARIO – After a decade of work at its Eco Ridge uranium property in Elliot Lake, Toronto’s Pele Mountain Resources is shifting its focus to the recovery of rare earths from monazite-bearing tailings. The company intends to create a low cost, early-to-market, Canadian rare earth supplier in Elliot Lake.
The company says that suitable feed material is available from many sources. It will accept feed from producers who embrace sustainable mining practices and are in countries that have a trading relationship with Canada. Monazite is to be processed into concentrates containing rare earths.
Pele says its recycling strategy offers benefits over development of a hard rock rare earth mine in several ways. Because of the low tonnages involved in processing, capital and operating expenses will be low. Monazite contains good grades of all rare earths, but particularly neodymium and praseodymium, both used in magnets. The metallurgical processes for treating monazite are well established, means the technical risk and ramp up times are lowered.
Pele president Al Shefsky said, “We are finally seeing signs that rare earth and uranium prices are beginning to increase after protracted downturns. Advancing our monazite recycling strategy has us well positioned to lead the present day race to production of critical rare earths outside of China and, ultimately, can support the development of our extensive resources at Eco Ridge as market conditions improve.”
Follow developments at PeleMountain.com.