In 2018 a series of test work programs were conducted to finalise the optimal circuit.
Two expert Chinese laboratories separately developed methods that delivered significantly improved performances.
Baotou Meng Rong Fine Materials Co Ltd (BTMR) laboratories was selected to continue the development and validation of their flotation circuit.
Further test work by BTMR in China has resulted in a number of simplifications and upgrades that will reduce expenses and increase concentrate grades.
Greenland Minerals’ managing director Dr John Mair said: “The progress made through 2018 on technical optimisation was excellent, with extensive test work completed in both Australia and China.
“Shenghe’s experience, along with the leading technical input of their consultants has led to significant improvements in flotation performance.
Importantly, these efforts will fast‐track and further de‐risk project implementation and avoid operational issues encountered by some producing rare earth operations in their start up years.
The optimisation program has resulted in developing the simplest, most efficient flotation circuit possible while minimising impacts.”
New simpler project configurations have been developed and tested
The further test work by BTMR in China has confirmed the circuit operates consistently over a broad temperature range and that no regrinding or de-sliming circuits are required.
Reagent consumption has also been reduced through improvements to the water chemistry without increased capital expenditures.
The new simpler configuration produces over 22% rare earth oxide (REO) concentrate grades with recovery in excess of 80%.
Pilot plant work is planned for 2019.