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Progress on E.U. project to produce rare earth elements from Greenland

By Chemical Engineering |

A refinery pilot test was successfully completed on the Kvanefjeld rare-earth (RE) project located in the southern tip of Greenland, about 10 km from Narsaq. The project is wholly owned by Greenland Minerals and Energy Ltd. (Perth, Western Australia; www.ggg.gl). The pilot test was carried out in Finland by Outotec (Espoo, Finland; www.outotec.com) at Outotec Pori Research Laboratories, as part of the EURARE program, which aims to safeguard the uninterrupted supply of RE raw materials and products to the E.U. economy. The pilot test followed a feasibility study and conceptual 3-D design of the plant carried out by Tetra Tech Proteus (Perth, Western Australia; www.proteuseng.com.au). The study indicated the projects long life of more than 100 years and its cost-competitive capability. The size of Kvanefjeld places it at the top three RE deposits in the world for qualified resources. The deposit also contains sufficient levels of uranium and zinc in the orebody to produce commercially viable byproducts. The project is expected to produce 40,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of rare earth oxides, including 5,000 m.t./yr of the valuable heavy rare element oxides. Uranium production capacity will be about 1.2 million kg/yr, ranking the…
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