Ucore, IBC design PGM facility after SuperLig REE pilot plant


Last updated 2/12/2017 at Noon

Ucore Rare Metals Inc. Feb. 8 reported that it has completed the initial stage of detailed engineering for a platinum group metals - rhodium, palladium and platinum - phase of its U.S. strategic metals complex.

Being developed as a joint venture between Ucore and IBC Advanced Technologies, the strategic metals complex is a planned industrial scale version of the SuperLig One pilot plant the partners developed to separate the rare earths found at the Bokan Mountain project in Southeast Alaska.

The same molecular recognition technology to separate the notoriously tightly interlocked rare earth elements is now being applied to platinum group metals.

The PGM separation plant is being designed to receive, process and separate recycled catalytic converter material which has been concentrated to a metal alloy via a plasma arc smelter.

"The 'Stage A' processing circuits will prepare the PGM-bearing input material for submission to the SuperLig metal separation process," explained Ucore Vice President of Operations Mike Schrider.

"The design will accommodate unpurified PGM bearing metal alloys (from third party sourced recycled catalytic converters) as input material to the MRT process, and then transform the high purity rhodium, palladium and platinum concentrate MRT output into high value products such as individual PGM sponge and specialty salts, both in high demand in U.S. markets." Ucore said the final PGM separation plant design allows for an ultimate annual production capacity, once all stages are complete, of 750,000 troy ounces of virtually pure rhodium, palladium and platinum.

The PGM facility is expected to encompass about 25,600 square feet of a planned three-acre complex.

Ucore said it is nearing final selection of feedstock for the rare earth side of the strategic metals complex.

Once the source material is identified, Ucore and IBC will engineer a facility specifically for the material.

Ucore is currently determining the best location for the metals complex.

Logistics will play a crucial role in determining the site and Houston, Texas, is one of locations under consideration.

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