Tasman Metals (CVE:TSM) (NYSE-MKT:TAS) surged nearly 8% Friday, as investors eager for a pre-feasibility study on the Norra Karr heavy rare earth element (REE)-zirconium project pushed volumes up to 201,181 – exceeding the company’s 50-day average volume of 49,682 .
Shares of rare earth explorer were higher by 7.89% as at about 2:40 p.m. EDT trading at $1.23.
The company has said its upcoming pre-feasibility study will include an updated NI 43-101 resource calculation.
Tasman in November 2012 said it had advanced mineral processing at the Norra Karr project in Sweden, based on optimization results from expanded metallurgical testing.
Highlights included high recovery of rare earth elements in a low mass during combined flotation and magnetic separation tests, including 82.5% yttrium oxide (Y2O3) and 76.9% total rare earth oxide (TREO), recovered in only 25.2% of the original mass.
Various scenarios combining flotation and magnetic separation were tested.
It also saw a high recovery of rare earth elements in magnetic separation tests on three major ore types from the project.
Eudialyte was confirmed as the only rare earth element-bearing mineral present in "more than trace abundance" in all ore types.
In addition, all major ore types were shown to be mineralogically indistinguishable when ground to 500 micron, suggesting geological variation across the ore body is unlikely to affect processing behaviour, Tasman said.
Flotation test work was also "very successful", the company noted, in separating the common iron-bearing aegirine from eudialyte using commercial reagent.
The project’s preliminary economic report for Nora Karr was based on an open pittable recoverable resource of 58.1 million tonnes grading 0.59% total rare earth oxide (TREO) where 50.0% of the TREO is the high value heavy rare earth oxide (HREO) and 1.70% zirconium oxide in the inferred and indicated categories.
The report assumed a mining rate of 1.5 million tonnes per year with average TREO recoveries of 80% and average zirconium recovery of 60%.
Average annual mixed TREO concentrate production was forecast to be 6,800 tonnes including 290 tonnes of dysprosium oxide, 43 tonnes of terbium oxide, 773 tonnes of neodymium oxide and 2,360 tonnes of yttrium oxide.
The project is one of the largest and most economical projects among its peers, due to the high contribution of the high value rare earth elements like dysprosium, yttrium, neodymium, and terbium.
Demand for dysprosium is expected to soar over the next decade from both the traditional automotive and emerging electric car and wind turbine industries.
Tasman Metals also has the Olserum project, which it acquired in 2011 and is located 100 kilometres east of Norra Karr.