Critical Metals

Mintek Opens Pilot Rare Earth Solvent Extraction Plant in South Africa

Critical Metals

South Africa’s Mintek has opened a pilot rare earth solvent extraction plant in the country, according to Mining Weekly. According to Alan McKenzie, General Manager for the company’s technology division, the plant cost roughly R10-million to build.

South Africa’s Mintek has opened a pilot rare earth solvent extraction plant in the country, according to Mining Weekly. According to Alan McKenzie, General Manager for the company’s technology division, the plant cost roughly R10-million to build.

As quoted in the publication:

He pointed out that Southern Africa possessed significant rare earth element deposits, highlighting that South Africa alone had over a one-million tons of know rare earth element deposits.

McKenzie said the plant had the potential to assist South Africa in growing its rare earth element sector, as, unlike conventional refineries, it could process ore and chemical concentrates from multiple mines. This would enable mines, particularly those owned by junior miners, to combine their resources to establish one processing facility to be shared among them.

“Many rare earth deposits are currently owned by junior miners and they are finding it very difficult to raise the money that is required to develop these projects. A significant portion of the costs of these operations is related to the refining of rare earths,” he said.

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