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Quest Announces Improved Production of High Purity Rare Earth
Quest Rare Minerals (TSX:QRM,NYSE MKT:QRM) announced it had greatly improved production of a high purity rare earth and yttrium oxide concentrate from its new and substantially improved process flowsheet for the Strange Lake project.
Quest Rare Minerals (TSX:QRM,NYSE MKT:QRM) has greatly improved production of a high purity rare earth and yttrium oxide concentrate from its new and substantially improved process flow sheet for the Strange Lake project.
According to the press release:
The substantially improved process flowsheet developed and tested at SGS to produce the mixed rare earth oxide concentrate, which will form the feed to the rare earth separation plant, included the following simple process steps:
- Beneficiation (flotation), which reduced the mass of material treated by approximately 50%, and results in smaller process plant footprint at Bécancour and reduced energy requirements when compared to the 2013 PFS flowsheet
- Selective sulphation roasting and leaching, which targets recovery of REE+Y to solution, with minimum recovery of impurity elements, including Al, Fe, and Zr (they mostly remain in residue). The selective sulphation process greatly reduces acid consumption and drastically improves the quality of the leach solution, leading to reduced operating costs and allows for a simplified process flowsheet
- Impurity removal, which precipitates residual impurities from the leach solution
- Crude concentrate precipitation, which precipitates REE+Y from the leach solution
- Final mixed concentrate production, which includes re-leach of the crude concentrate and final purification steps before producing a high purity mixed rare earth concentrate
Peter Cashin, CEO and President
Quest’s metallurgical team has been extremely successful in producing a high-purity concentrate, extremely low in critical impurities such as iron and aluminum. The production of this concentrate demonstrates the simplicity with which Strange Lake material can be processed into separation plant feed-stock with a highly desirable rare earth distribution