Russia Returns to Rare Earths Market With New Extraction Method

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Scientists at Russia’s Ural Federal University have developed a method to extract rare earths from uranium mines. The new technology will be tested over the next three years as researchers believe that it could reduce the demand for rare earth imports in Russia by a third.

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According to InvestorIntel, the new process can be applied to most uranium mining operations and could, by extension, be applied worldwide. The method involves the injection of sulfuric acid into the soil, which dissolves uranium and rare earth metals. The revolutionary thing about this process is that the sorbent can allow for the selective extraction of uranium, rare earth metals or scandium, without affecting the quality of the uranium.

Following a 2.1% decline to CNY 475,000 ($77,339) per metric ton, praseodymium oxide finished as the week’s biggest mover on the weekly Rare Earths MMI®. Neodymium prices were off slightly at CNY 355,000 ($57,801) per metric ton, down from CNY 357,000 ($58,127) a week ago. Closing at CNY 14,000 ($2,279) per metric ton, cerium oxide remained unchanged for the week.

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At CNY 1,420 ($231.20) per kilogram, the week finished with no movement for dysprosium oxide. At CNY 2,050 ($333.78) per kilogram, the price of europium oxide did not change since the previous week. Closing at CNY 2,050 ($333.78) per kilogram, europium oxide remained unchanged for the week. Lanthanum oxide remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 14,000 ($2,279) per metric ton.

Prices for praseodymium neodymium oxide remained constant, closing the week at CNY 280,000 ($45,590) per metric ton. Rare earth carbonate traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 25,000 ($4,070) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for samarium oxide closed flat at CNY 18,500 ($3,012) per metric ton. Terbium metal prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 3,600 ($586.15) per kilogram.

Prices for terbium oxide remained constant, closing the week at CNY 2,650 ($431.47) per kilogram. At CNY 37,000 ($6,024) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for yttria. Yttrium remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 270.00 ($43.96) per kilogram.

The Rare Earths MMI® collects and weights 14 global rare earth metal price points to provide a unique view into rare earth metal price trends. For more information on the Rare Earths MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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