Medallion Resources Ltd ("Medallion" or the "Company"), today announced that the recent bench-scale metallurgical testing of its rare-earth extraction process has produced a calcium phosphate by-product.
Phosphate typically makes up 24-29% of the mineral monazite, which is the feedstock for the Company's rare-earth extraction process. The phosphate is liberated and made available during the extraction process and converted to calcium phosphate. This by-product, once in production, could represent an additional revenue stream for the Company.
Calcium phosphate is a commonly-used animal feed supplement providing an added source of calcium and phosphorus to strengthen bones and improve nervous system function, and feed digestibility. The global market for feed phosphates was estimated to be over $4.6 billion in 2013. Current prices for calcium phosphate in North America are about $400 per tonne.
"Our rare-earth extraction flow sheet makes available the phosphate component of the monazite feedstock as we produce a refinery-ready, rare-earth concentrate," said Don Lay, President & CEO. "A side benefit is that we can also produce a high-quality calcium phosphate, which we expect will find a ready market near our proposed plant. Although this phosphate by-product is unlikely to be a significant revenue driver for our project, all sources contributing to our project's economics are important."
Earlier this month, the Company announced the results of its bench-scale metallurgical tests. These tests indicated that its caustic-process approach, fed with by-product monazite sand from a major heavy-mineral-sands producer, yielded a high-purity rare-earth concentrate. This concentrate is expected to be suitable for input into standard commercial rare-earth refineries or separation plants. Sample concentrate product will soon be provided to interested refineries for testing.
William H Bird, PhD, PGeo, who is the Company's Chief Technical Advisor and Qualified Person, oversaw the metallurgical tests (see Company news release August 12, 2015) and approves of the technical information contained in this news release.