SuperLig-One continues success; final phase of REE separation begins
Last updated 2/1/2018 at 7:26pm
Ucore Rare Metals Inc. July 5 said the SuperLig-One rare earth element separation pilot plant has further broken down heavy rare earths derived from the Bokan-Dotson Ridge project in Southeast Alaska into two subgroups - samarium-dysprosium and holmium-lutetium.
The company reports that greater than 99 percent purity and recovery was achieved for both subgroups.
This high level of both purity and recovery is attributed to the molecular recognition technology being employed by the SuperLig-One pilot plant that was designed and constructed by Utah-based IBC Advanced Technologies Inc. In three previous stages of testing, the pilot plant removed the impurity metals from a pregnant leach solution derived from material sourced at Bokan-Dotson Ridge; separated scandium as individual element exceeding 99 percent purity; and then separated the heavy (samarium to lutetium) and light (lanthanum to neodymium plus yttrium) rare earth elements.
Ucore anticipates separation of select individual critical rare earths from the heavy REE subgroup in the near term, bringing the SuperLig-One maiden test program to conclusion.
"The MRT (molecular recognition technology) platform has consistently outperformed traditional REE separation methodologies, including solvent extraction, ion exchange, and precipitation, based on critical metrics such as efficiency, recovery, and near-quantitative levels of purity. The results bode well for the application of SuperLig, not just for the separation of REE, but for a host of other increasingly high demand metals," said Jim McKenzie, president and CEO of Ucore. "The SuperLig portfolio now includes fully developed and customized separation molecules for almost all of the burgeoning clean energy and technology metals, specifically REE, lithium, cobalt, tungsten and PGM (platinum group metals). All told, the comprehensive portfolio represents a broad field of vision and a remarkable potential for rapid growth across multiple metals sectors, via a hub and spoke growth platform. That vision will apply to a potential multi-metal co-venture with IBC."