Texas Rare Earth Resources Corp. was awarded a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) research contract by the United States Defense Logistics Agency’s Strategic Materials Division.
The Defense Logistics Agency is the Department of Defense’s largest logistics combat support agency, providing worldwide logistics support in both peacetime and wartime to the military services as well as several civilian agencies and foreign countries.
The DLA Strategic Materials Division is charged with maintaining cognizance of worldwide strategic and critical materials’ supply chains from the source to final assembly and evaluating the capability of these supply chains to support national defense and essential civilian industries, and developing mitigation solutions when access to materials are insufficient to provide support for national defense and emergency response.
In May, Texas Rare Earths successfully completed the first phase of its stage 2 separation process development, using the K-Technologies, Inc. (K-Tech) Continuous Ion Chromatography (CIC) methodology. By doing this, K-Tech removes the light rare earth elements, lanthanum and cerium, from purified pregnant leach solution (PLS) feedstock in a straightforward, low-cost manner. The resultant aqueous product stream can be processed to make a commercially marketable mid/heavy rare earth mixed concentrate.
“Removing the low-value lanthanum and cerium at an early stage with minimal separation effort bodes well for the overall efficiency and economy of this process and also provides us the option of making a marketable, praseodymium/neodymium plus mid/heavy rare earth concentrate,” said Dan Gorski, CEO, Texas Rare Earths. “We intend to examine the economic possibilities of producing and marketing such a concentrate. However, our primary objective over the short term is to use the CIC process to further refine the mid/heavy concentrate and to produce individual high purity rare earth element products that meet all commercial specifications.”