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Monday, Apr 15, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.

Rare Earths

Central America Nickel files patent application for ultrasound tech REE extraction method

The patent will also cover a method of extracting uranium and thorium from rare earth elements

Central America Nickel files patent application for ultrasound tech REE extraction method
Thorium, a radioactive metallic element. Photo by W. Oelen via Wikimedia Commons

Quebec’s critical metals company Central America Nickel (CAN) has filed a series of patent applications for its method of extracting rare earth elements (REE) with the assistance of proprietary ultrasound technology.

On Monday, the company announced filing the patent application titled “Process for Extraction of Rare Earth Elements” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). CAN’s majority-owned subsidiary Kibara Minerals is involved with the development of major rare earth deposits in the country.

The process combines REE extraction and recovery with a means of separating uranium and thorium from rare earths. The company says separating those radioactive elements from REE is essential for exporting and transporting them globally.

The ultrasound-assisted extraction technology increases mineral recovery rates while reducing processing time, saving money and reducing environmental damage, according to CAN. The company says it achieved a rare earth recovery rate of 84 per cent in solution with a two-hour extraction cycle.

“Given the complexity of extracting and refining rare earth elements, the use of CAN’s proprietary technology and processes could represent a major extractive industry advancement,” said the company.

Read more: ATHA Energy aerial surveys over Athabasca Basin reveal strong potential for uranium

Read more: ATHA Energy well-positioned to capitalize on world’s best uranium jurisdiction: TF Metals interview

CAN has been exporting rare earth concentrates from the DRC for approximately one year now. The company’s primary rare earth project in the Congo is estimated to contain over 1 million tonnes of REE with an average grade of 59 per cent total rare earth oxide content.

CAN is involved in a joint venture with Auxico Resources Canada (CSE: AUAG).

Rare earths include neodymium, europium, scandium, lanthanum, gadolinium and many other metallic elements with a variety of different industrial applications.

“Many people are unaware of the enormous impact rare earth elements have on their daily lives, but it is almost impossible to use a piece of modern technology that does not contain one,” says the Institute of Rare Earths and Strategic Metals.

In 2021, 61 per cent of the world’s REE were produced by China. They are utilized in the production of magnets more than any other commodity, which are needed in an assortment of electronics.


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