Rare Earth Elements and Rare Metals
(REE & RM)
REE and RM, such as Gallium, Scandium, Dysprosium, Praseodymium, Yttrium, and Neodymium have become increasingly critical for the viability of technological devices.
The unique magnetic, electrical and physical characteristics of these materials, allow for breakthrough technologies in a variety of fast growing applications. Although global output of rare earths, at around 115,000 tonnes per annum in 2014*, is relatively low, these materials are critical to key industries worth more than $4.8 trillion*.
Solving supply issues
The name “’rare earths’ is somewhat of a misnomer since these elements are quite abundant but typically found in low concentrations only. They are difficult to extract cost efficiently, which is equally valid for rare metals. Uncertainties in supply and the high cost associated with typical extraction methods, combined with their importance, implies that new extraction methods are necessary.
The Orbite Process addresses this, and we are now commercializing this technology to viably extract REE and RM from a broad variety of sources. These include aluminous clay, red mud and fly ash.
We have an indicated mineral resource of 1.04 billion tonnes at our Grande-Vallée deposit. A Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") Technical Report dated May 30, 2012, prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101, estimated that this deposit contains 563 ppm in REE & RM. Assuming that the concentration of REE & RM is uniform throughout the deposit, we potentially have access to 563,000 tonnes of these critical high-value materials.
* Source: Canadian Rare Earth Elements Network (CREEN)