Ucore commissions design and construction of SuperLigOne REE pilot plant

first_imgUcore Rare Metals has commissioned the construction of  a pilot plant (SuperLig®-One) based on Molecular Recognition Technology (MRT). The purpose of the Plant will be to test the use of MRT for the separation of rare earth elements (REEs) at bulk scale. Ucore has contracted with IBC Advanced Technologies for the design and construction of the plant, targeting completion before the end of 2015. The test unit, will be constructed at IBC. Once complete, it will then be relocated to a third party facility for an independent review of pilot scale test procedures.“We anticipate that the SuperLig-One unit will be a high-value asset for Ucore,” said Jim McKenzie, President & CEO of Ucore. “The intention is for the unit to be a test mule, capable of accepting pregnant leach solution (PLS) and bulk concentrates from multiple prospective REE feedstock locations around the world. Ucore confirms that it has entered into agreements with various REE feedstock providers, and will be securing test material from a variety of locations over the next six months as construction is under way. One high priority source of pilot scale test material will be the Bokan-Dotson Ridge project in southeast Alaska.”The SuperLig-One unit is currently undergoing design at IBC. The plant will be both modular and portable in design, capable of transport to remote testing sites as required. Columnar units within the plant will contain customised proprietary SuperLig® products that are designed to selectively separate the metal being targeted.  To optimise utility, the plant will be customisable over time, with capacity for treating varying ratios of metals in different PLS feed solutions.The SuperLig platform successfully separated the entire suite of REEs to high purity at bench scale without the use of traditional costly and environmentally invasive solvent extraction techniques (see Ucore press release March 2, 2015). SuperLig-One will be designed to deploy this achievement at pilot scale, refining each of the lanthanides to uniformly high purity, from lanthanum (La) to lutetium (Lu), with the exception of Pm, plus yttrium (Y) and scandium (Sc).In addition to SuperLig products designed for REE separation, IBC has an extensive inventory of pre-existing SuperLig products capable of selectively targeting a range of valuable metals, such as PGMs, gold, silver, uranium, bismuth, copper, cobalt, nickel, indium, and rhenium as well as a host of nuisance materials such as radionuclides, lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. In a press release dated March 3, 2015, Ucore announced an exclusive agreement with IBC for the use of SuperLig technology for all metals in the tailings processing sector, as well as all processing applications related to REEs.The mid-term objective is to have the SuperLig-One unit serve as a prototype for a full sized SuperLig separation plant, to be located in North America. Such a full sized facility would be capable of receiving rare earth feedstock, in the form of mixed concentrates or PLS, from locations in the Americas and beyond.IBC Advanced Technologies is an award-winning, green chemical selective separations company based on innovative MRT products. It has supplied industrial, governmental and academic customers worldwide with environmentally friendly products, processes and services for over 28 years. It specialises in MRT, using green chemistry to achieve highly selective separations of metal ions in complex matrices. Based on Nobel Prize-winning technology (1987), IBC’s proprietary products and processes are used worldwide by premier metals refining and mining companies such as Tanaka Kikinzoku (Japan), Asarco Grupo Mexico (USA), Impala Platinum (South Africa), and Sino Platinum (China). In 2014, the Japanese Government (Mitsubishi Research, Inc.) awarded to IBC a highly competitive subsidy grant, Demonstration Project for Seawater Purification Technologies, concerning the selective separation of the radionuclides strontium and cesium from contaminated seawater at Fukushima, Japan.  The recent successful completion of this project by IBC demonstrated the viability of using SuperLig products in this vital application.IBC’s expertise is illustrated by its extensive development and commercialization of separations systems for PGMs at a world level. PGMs are analogous to the rare earth elements, in that they are considered difficult to selectively separate due to their constituent chemical similarities.The Ucore-IBC alliance builds on IBC’s proven capabilities to develop, scale-up and commercialise selective separations systems for a number of diverse and complex applications.Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is a development-phase mining company focused on establishing rare metal resources and beneficiation technologies with near term potential for production, growth and scalability. With multiple projects across North America, Ucore’s primary focus is the 100% owned Bokan – Dotson Ridge REE property in Alaska. This REE project is located 60 km southwest of Ketchikan, Alaska and 140 km northwest of Prince Rupert, British Columbia and has direct ocean access to the western seaboard and the Pacific Rim, a significant advantage in developing near term production facilities and limiting the capital costs associated with mine construction.last_img