Evaluation and development of leaching and separation processes - Project leader, Chen Xia, MMS, NRCan
In an effort to help expand and help diversify the global supply or rare earth elements, the Canadian mining industry is working hard to activate REE mines and plants within five years. Over the last several decades REE production and research activity has been minimal in North America. In this regard, it is critical that Canadian specialists understand the science and engineering of new and emerging technologies before a competitive REE industry can be established in this country. The objectives of this study therefore are threefold:
- To study newly developed REE technologies and understand them in both theory and practice
- To investigate and improve these new processes
- To assess the most promising scientific and technological solutions for Canadian ores in order to identify the most effective ones
The work will involve the following components: ammonium sulphate leaching of REE from ionic ore types, chemical leaching of Monazite REE ore types, solvent extraction and precipitation recovery of REE products from leaching solutions and improved solvent extraction processes in separating REE elements from their acidic solutions.