Rare Earth Elements

Rare Earth Elements

ANZAPLAN is well equipped to develop flowsheet and process design following different processing routes for REE bearing minerals. Evaluation of tailored programs for the physical processing of REE ores to REE mineral concentrates can be performed at various scales. Specific processing unit operations include comminution, sensor-based sorting, electrostatic separation, flotation and dry or wet magnetic separation, precipitation, crystallization, purification (solvent extraction, ion exchange) and filtration processes which are essential parts in the development of hydrometallurgical processes concerned with the production of REE specialty chemical products.

ANZAPLAN’s hydrometallurgical facilities can achieve light, medium and heavy rare earth specialty chemicals including the removal of radionuclides (U, Th).

Services

Main analytical services for REE include:

  • Identification of trace elements by inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy (ICP) using matrix adjusted calibration 
  • Identification of ionic species by ion chromatography (IC)
  • Identification of main elements by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) 
  • Identification and quantification (Rietveld refinement) of REE mineral phases by X-ray diffraction (XRD)
  • Particle size distribution (PSD)
  • Mineral liberation analysis (MLA)
  • Determination of specific surface area (BET)
  • Optical analysis by scanning electron microscopy (SEM)

Physical processing will include the development of a flowsheet targeting the concentration of REE bearing minerals.

Main physical processing steps applied:

  • Crushing, grinding and classification of ROM
  • Sensor based sorting (SBS)
  • Heavy liquid separation (HLS)
  • Electrostatic separation
  • Attrition scrubbing and desliming
  • Magnetic separation 
  • Flotation 

Hydrometallurgical processing will include the development of a flowsheet targeting e.g. REE chemical products.

Main hydrometallurgical processing steps applied:

  • Roasting
  • Leaching
  • Purification (e.g. ion exchange)
  • Solvent extraction (SX)
  • Separation of radionuclides (U, Th)
  • Precipitation
  • Crystallization

Advanced processing services include:

  • Flowsheet optimization 
  • Locked cycle tests (LCT)
  • Variability testing

Physical processing will include the concentration of REE bearing minerals at pilot scale.

Main physical processing steps applied:

  • Crushing, grinding and classification of ROM
  • Sensor based sorting (SBS)
  • Dense media separation (DMS)
  • Attrition scrubbing and desliming
  • Electrostatic separation
  • Magnetic separation 
  • Flotation 

Hydrometallurgical processing will include the production of e.g. REE chemical products at pilot scale.

Main hydrometallurgical processing steps applied:

  • Roasting
  • Leaching
  • Purification (e.g. ion exchange)
  • Solvent extraction (SX)
  • Separation of radionuclides (U, Th)
  • Precipitation
  • Crystallization

Engineering services typically include:

  • Process design and flowsheet development
  • Confirmation of flowsheet through pilot plant testing program
  • Mass balance, energy and chemicals requirements
  • Capital and operating cost estimates (CAPEX/OPEX)
  • Economic assessments including potential by-product scenarios.
  • Scoping, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies
  • Process plant revamping and plant audits
  • Optimization and trade-off studies 
  • Waste management

The ANZAPLAN team offers independent review and sign-off of technical studies including:

  • Preliminary economic assessment, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies
  • Design verification at various scale
  • Pilot Plant review
  • Troubleshooting
  • Geometallurgical review
  • Periodic operation monitoring
  • Project management

ANZAPLAN and Micon International have formed a joint venture called M.Plan International to provide consulting and testwork services for seamless development in specialty mineral and metal projects from grassroots exploration through to feasibility studies including the following services:

  • Exploration program advice 
  • Site visits
  • Mineral resource/reserve estimation
  • Verification of drilling and QA/QC protocols
  • Audit and review
  • Mine planning
  • Preparation of technical report based on international codes e.g. JORC, NI 43-101
  • Project valuation and studies (PEA, PFS and FS Level)
  • Independent Engineer