ONTARIO – Toronto-based Pele Mountain Resources says that recent bench scale testing of material from its Eco Ridge project in Elliot Lake has successfully produced both a rare earth carbonate concentrate and yellowcake (U3O8). The tests were conducted by the Saskatchewan Research Council on HQ sized drill core samples.
Testing was done on all the basic processing circuit elements that were suggested in the preliminary economic assessment. The flowsheet includes pre-concentration using flotation and high intensity magnetic separation, acid baking and leaching, purification of leach solutions, solvent extraction to recover yellowcake, and precipitation of a mixed rare earth carbonate concentrate. Process optimization studies are underway.
The PEA supposes a 9,000-t/d operation with the production of 97.2 million lb of rare earth oxides in concentrate and 27.5 million lb of yellowcake over an 11-year mine life. The concentrate will include neodymium oxide, dysprosium oxide, yttrium oxide, and significant quantities of terbium and europium oxides. Revenue will come 85% from the rare earth oxides and 15% from uranium oxide.
Pele intends to begin construction at Eco Ridge in 2015. Please see PeleMountain.com.