American Resources Corporation (NASDAQ:AREC) announced that it has finalized its site selection to build its first commercial scale rare earth element (REE) purification and isolation facility in Noblesville, Indiana.
The Fishers, Indiana-based supplier of raw materials to the rapidly growing global infrastructure market, said its secured US site provides 6.9 acres of developable land. The company has a goal of scaling it into an 80,000 square foot facility for purifying and isolating rare earth and critical elements utilizing ligand assisted displacement (LAD) chromatography technology.
“The Noblesville site is in an existing industrial area that provides access to commercial water and power, and is well located for convenient logistics,” said the company.
In a statement, American Resources Corporation CEO Mark Jensen said: "We have set a goal to be one of the first to produce an isolated and purified rare earth element in the US on a commercial scale and have now secured a site that is well suited to scale our facility to commercial production.”
“With this facility we are confident that we will be able to accomplish our goals. Our feedstocks are abundantly available and cost effective in the domestic market with approximately $3 billion worth of rare earth elements going to landfills from end-of-life products every year, and over 1 billion tons of fly ash landfilled, which is made attractive given our processes' ability to utilize favorable biproduct economics,” he added.
Jensen described it as “an exciting moment” for the team as it worked towards now finalizing the designs and ordering components for the build phase of the project.
The company's REE purification facility will leverage LAD chromatography through its previously announced exclusive license with Hasler Ventures and partnership with Purdue University. The company said its technology is being designed to handle “a multitude of feedstocks,” including recycled permanent magnets, lithium-ion batteries, as well as various coal-based waste and byproducts such as fly ash.
It is a “significantly environmentally safer purification process compared to conventional solvent-based extraction methods”, noted the company.
The firm said the facility represents “the final stage” of American Resources’ process chain, defined by its dictum of "Capture. Process. Purify" enabling it to commercially produce rare earth oxides, lithium, and cobalt from domestic sources.
“It will allow American Resources to be a first mover to purify and isolate the elements for sale directly to manufacturers of green technology components such as batteries and permanent magnets in the US,” said the company.
The company is focused on the extraction and processing of metallurgical carbon, a key ingredient in steelmaking, rare earth minerals for the electrification market, and reprocessed metal to be recycled. American Resources has a growing portfolio of operations in the Central Appalachian basin of eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia where premium quality metallurgical carbon and rare earth mineral deposits are concentrated.
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