Texas Rare Earth Resources Corp. (TRER), an exploration company specializing in the heavy rare earths, is beginning Stages 2 and 3 of the hydrometallurgical project to produce high purity (99.99%) separated rare earth elements from crushed Round Top rhyolite leached with dilute sulfuric acid.
K-Technologies, Inc. (K-Tech) based at Lakeland, Florida, is continuing work started in August 2014 which has employed continuous ion exchange (CIX) to produce a highly concentrated, low impurity rare earth element (REE) feedstock solution from the leach solution obtained from leaching crushed Round Top Rhyolite with dilute sulfuric acid.
Metallurgical work completed in December 2014 has shown that the dilute REE bearing sulfate solution can be efficiently treated to produce a purified solution exceeding specifications for feedstock for a separation plant employing either a solvent extraction (SX) or a continuous ion exchange (CIX) process. We regard the successfully completed Stage 1 a technological breakthrough in that we were able use continuous ion exchange procedures (CIX) employing readily available ion exchange resins to produce the feedstock solution from an impure low grade leach solution. This was Stage 1 of a three stage program whose ultimate objective is to produce 4-9's (99.99%) pure separated rare earth elements in either oxide or carbonate form.
Stage 2, under way now, will be to further process the feedstock solution from Stage 1 into three high purity streams: light, mid and heavy REE classes. Stage 3 will be to select individual REE's from the heavy class and produce individual high purity (99.99%) products employing continuous ion chromatography (CIC) processing technology. Work to optimize the leaching of the rhyolite will be concurrently conducted at K-Tech's facility.
Dan Gorski, CEO, commented; "The objective of these next two Stages is to produce gram sized samples of 4-9s (99.99%), separated rare earth oxides or carbonate from leached Round Top rhyolite. We believe the completion of these two Stages would establish TRER as a leader in becoming the first non-Chinese source of the strategically vital heavy rare earth elements. The CIX and CIC process holds promise to materially reduce both capital and operating costs of the envisioned operation at Round Top. Our target is to complete Stages 2 and 3 within six months and to then scale up and move directly on to the pilot plant stage of development."
About Texas Rare Earth Resources Corp.
Texas Rare Earth Resources Corp.'s primary focus is exploring and, if warranted, developing its Round Top rare earth minerals project located in Hudspeth County, Texas, 85 miles east of El Paso. The Company's common stock trades on the OTCQX U.S. tier under the symbol "TRER." For more information on Texas Rare Earth Resources Corp., visit its website at www.trer.com.