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K-Technologies Signs LOI with Texas Rare Earth Resources

Texas Rare Earth Resources Corp. (TRER), an exploration company targeting the heavy rare earths, and K-Technologies, Inc. (K-Tech), a chemical process development and applications company serving the minerals and chemicals industries, announced today they have signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture to develop, refine and market K-Tech's Continuous Ion Exchange (CIX) and Continuous Ion Chromatography (CIC) technology as it applies primarily to the extraction of rare earth elements (REE) from native ores.

The JV will license the technology to TRER, as well as other rare earth production companies. Subject to agreement by TRER, the JV may also elect to build and operate processing facilities to separate and purify mixed rare earth concentrates into individual purified rare earth oxides for other rare earth production companies in addition to TRER.

K-Tech has in the past used their CIX and CIC process to treat REE leach solutions from ores such as monazite and bastnaesite to produce separated REE products at the bench-scale and pilot plant level. They have also recovered REE materials from phosphoric acid solutions at bench levels. Historically the rare earth industry has used solvent extraction (SX) technology to produce individually purified rare earth products. The advantages to using K-Tech technology instead of SX could be many. Likely lower CAPEX and OPEX are the most significant but the simplicity of the operation, smaller footprint, lack of large amounts of petroleum-based solvents, and the overall mitigation of safety and environmental risk are also likely significant de-risking factors with the K-Tech process.

According to Jack Lifton, rare earth industry consultant and TRER board member: "Proving that K-Tech's processing technology works at scale and that its CAPEX and OPEX compete with those of the equivalent SX systems would open a new era of grade inflation by a process that will give miners of hard rock deposits of the HREEs a level playing field with those working ionic adsorption clays."

Tom Baroody and Wes Berry, principal owners and officers of K-Tech, together have over 80 years' experience in the minerals, chemicals and biofuels industries. Between them they hold 26 U.S. and foreign patents, and 5 more are in the application phase.

Dan Gorski, TRER CEO, commented, "We are privileged to make this association with K-Tech. Work we have done to date on the Round Top leach solution leads me to believe that this technology will over time become a dominant processing technology in the REE sector. In addition to potentially efficiently processing the REE's this process holds great promise to make valuable by-products from the variety of other elements reporting in the Round Top heap leach solutions.

Tom Baroody, K-Tech CEO, further commented: "We are looking forward with excitement to working with TRER in utilizing our separations technology both for their Round Top project as well as for other REE projects that are seeking more targeted and economical means to separate and purify their rare earth materials from native ores. Our technology also has the potential to economically recover other metals of value that may be present in these ores such as uranium, lithium, etc. Also our CIX/CIC process uses commercially available reagents and resins from several different manufacturers and does not rely on more expensive specialty resins that are custom made. "

Source: http://www.trer.com/

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