Medallion Resources Ltd (CVE:MDL) (OTCPINK:MLLOF) announced Friday the initiation of a comprehensive comparative technical and commercial review of existing and emerging rare-earth element (REE) separation technologies.
The company said its REE extraction process from monazite has achieved the technical milestones needed to consider binding downstream partnerships, while its improved financial position is enabling stronger commitments within the REE supply chain.
Medallion said leading technologies will be considered for partnership or investment by the company or its North American-focused REE consortium financial backers Talaxis Limited (the technology metals unit of Noble Holdings) and Amvest Capital Inc -- both significant Medallion shareholders.
READ: Medallion Resources commences further rare-earth element process optimization test work at the Saskatchewan Research Council
“Medallion has identified four leading and approximately ten additional groups with potential technologies for REE separation, alongside the industry incumbent liquid-liquid solvent extraction,” said Medallion CEO Mark Saxon in a statement.
“There is no clear winner, and the time is therefore right to thoroughly compare downstream opportunities, with a view to achieving the lowest cost and risk partnering to provide REEs for the magnet industry. An extraction-separation technology pairing will ensure the most economic technical solutions are found in every part of the shared flowsheet.”
The company said it has engaged on an exclusive basis independent European chemist Dr Dag Øistein Eriksen, who has decades of REE processing experience. He has been tasked to review and compare data from the various REE separation alternatives that are either commercially available or emerging.
The review is focused entirely on the most cost-effective method for the separation of the highest value magnet metals neodymium (Nd), praseodymium (Pr), dysprosium (Dy), and terbium (Tb) from a cerium-depleted heavy mineral sand monazite feedstock.
Medallion said Nd, Pr, Dy and Tb are the essential feedstock for REE high-strength permanent magnets, and together typically comprise greater than 85% of the value of REEs within monazite. A permanent pairing with a separation technology that is highly suitable for the company’s monazite-extraction technology will provide customers with the confidence that market-ready materials will be available in the shortest time frame with the lowest environmental footprint possible.
To date, Medallion said it has worked closely with two US-based private REE separation companies with distinct technology platforms. Dr Eriksen will assess these alongside other opportunities.
Medallion also has developed a proprietary REE extraction process that can play an important role in providing security, first to an emerging North American REE value chain, followed by other attractive locations. Medallion’s unique technology-led business model can deliver the most critical magnet REEs quickly and cost-effectively.
The Medallion business strategy is focused on extraction of REEs from the mineral monazite. Monazite is used today as a source of REEs in both China and India, where it is considered an attractive feedstock due to its high REE content (up to 65% REE by weight) and the relatively high abundance of the magnet metals neodymium and praseodymium.
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