Medallion Resources Ltd. (TSXV:MDL, OTCQX:MLLOF), today announced its recent process testwork produced a cerium-depleted rare earth concentrate containing 41.6% of the magnet metals neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) by mass. The contained NdPr represents an estimated 81.6% of the concentrate value, based on current market values of the contained rare earth elements (REEs).
NdPr is the key input material for the high-powered permanent rare earth magnets required for the growing demands of vehicle electrification, wind power generation and robotics.
“This is an excellent result. It provides confirmation we can recover a marketable mix of magnet metals from the tested commercial monazite feedstock,” said Don Lay, Medallion’s President & CEO. “Given the improving market for REEs and these favourable results, we can confidently accelerate our extraction process testwork to deliver a rare earth concentrate product rich in valuable magnet metals.”
Medallion is pursuing near-term production of REEs in North America, by sourcing and processing monazite sand available as a by-product of heavy-mineral sands mining operations. Monazite, a rare earth phosphate mineral, has a history as a commercial REE resource with well-understood metallurgy. Medallion is also working to ensure safe transport, processing, and disposal of the naturally occurring radioactive elements associated with monazite.
Rare Earth Concentrate Product
Further to the completion of its recent process testwork, reported February 7, 2018, Medallion has now received the final report from the Saskatchewan Research Council. The testwork results show a mixed rare earth carbonate concentrate product containing 41.6% NdPr of rare earth mass compared to the 23.2% NdPr of rare earth mass in the monazite feedstock. The testwork achieved an 84.8% recovery of REEs, excluding cerium, from the initial grinding through to the production of the carbonate concentrate.
The high NdPr content was achieved through a process enhancement. This step removed the bulk of low-valued cerium and enabled production of a more valuable concentrate product. The quoted value for NdPr oxide is approximately $55.00 per kg, which represents an increase of approximately 30% over the past year.
“This process enhancement utilizes the unique oxidation states of cerium to remove, or deplete, the bulk of the cerium from the other rare earths, all of which are chemically similar,” said Kurt Forrester, PhD, Medallion’s consulting metallurgist. “Cerium depletion is one example of the value-add process enhancements we are looking to deploy in our monazite extraction process to maximize recovery of valuable materials and effectively utilize reagents.”
The table below summarizes the distribution of REEs contained in the tested monazite sand feedstock and the carbonate concentrate produced in the recent testwork.
Summary Bench Level Optimization Testwork Results
|Contained Rare Earth and
|Value in concentrate|
|Other Rare Earths||7.71||14.46||15.47||$22.56||$4.52||15.1|
|Rare Earth Totals||53.37||100.00||100.00||$29.85||100.0|
|Others (Zr, Al, Fe, Si, Th, etc.)||29.03||–||–||–||–|
Note : The prices for the numbers above represent the current market values of the most commonly traded rare earth oxides (REO) sourced from Shanghai Metals Market. Marketable mixed rare earth concentrates trade at discounts to the REO values that reflect market conditions of the constituent oxides and other factors. The market value for “Other Rare Earths” is the average value of those individual REO’s weighted by concentrate distribution.
The produced high-purity mixed rare earth carbonate product meets the quality specifications as input into standard commercial rare earth refineries, which separate concentrates into individual marketable rare earth oxides and other rare earth products.
NdPr is in limited supply globally and is the critical raw material in the manufacture of ultra-strong, high performance Neodymium-Iron-Boron (NdFeB) permanent magnets. NdFeB magnets are used extensively in the automotive industry to power the small electric motors now contained in many seats, mirrors, wipers, steering, air conditioning, and braking systems. Virtually all current and planned hybrid and electric vehicles require NdFeB magnets in the electric traction motors powering the vehicle. While gasoline or diesel powered vehicles each use approximately 0.7 kg of NdPr, electric or hybrid vehicles require an additional 1 kg or 140% of NdPr for the traction motor. Banking group UBS has recently identified NdPr, along with battery materials lithium and cobalt, as the input commodities most positively affected by growing market demand for electric vehicles. Adamas Intelligence has estimated the value of global annual rare earth oxides for the production of rare earth permanent magnets totaled $1.44 billion in 2016. Adamas’ long-term forecast anticipates an increase in demand for the magnet-oriented, rare earth oxides to $6.07 billion by 2025, representing a compound annual growth rate of 17.4 %.
Stock Option Grant
Medallion has, pursuant to its stock option plan, granted stock options covering 1,100,000 shares at an exercise price of $.13 per share for a period of five years to directors, officers, consultants and advisors of the Company.
About Medallion Resources
Medallion Resources is developing an approach for low-cost, near-term, rare earth element (REE) production by exploiting monazite. Monazite is a rare earth phosphate mineral that is widely available as a by-product from mineral sand mining operations. REEs are critical inputs to electric and hybrid vehicles, electronics, imaging systems, wind turbines and strategic defense systems. Medallion is committed to following best practices and accepted international standards in all aspects of mineral transportation, processing and the safe management of waste materials.
Donald Lay, President & CEO,
Phone: +1.604.681.9558, email: email@example.com
Medallion management takes full responsibility for content and has prepared this news release. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Some of the statements contained in this release are forward-looking statements, such as statements that describe the viability of the rare earth metal extraction results of the Company’s recent test work, the value of REE concentrates, the profitable use of the cerium extract and the efficiency of the Company’s REE extraction methods. Since forward-looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature, they involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including the risks related to market conditions and regulatory approval and other risks outlined in the Company’s management discussions and analysis of financial results. Actual results in each case could differ materially from those currently anticipated in these statements. Also, in order to proceed with Medallion’s plans, additional funding will be necessary and, depending on market conditions, this funding may not be forthcoming on a schedule or on terms that facilitate Medallion’s plans. These forward looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and, other than as required by applicable securities laws, Medallion disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise.