Medallion Resources Ltd. has announced that Stantec Consulting has completed an extensive study to identify the most ideal locations in North America to install Medallion’s planned rare-earth element (REE) production facility that uses monazite from mineral sands.
The Medallion Monazite Process developed by the company is a proprietary technology and related business model to realize near-term, cost-effective, REE production with mineral sand monazite. Monazite is a rare-earth phosphate mineral that is largely obtained as a by-product from worldwide mineral sand-mining operations.
The target of the trade-off study is to compare US and Canadian localities based on a range of practical and commercial factors that will influence profitability and performance. The availability of monazite feedstock, suitable infrastructure, access to needed chemicals, corporate taxation, proximity of skilled labor, weather, downstream market access, as well as management, handling, and disposal of radioactive wastes were prioritized.
As part of the study, a series of regions that seem highly appropriate for further analysis has been identified and ranked. Although the detailed results of the study are confidential, U.S. states that have access to the Gulf Coast have several benefits. At present, to narrow choices of sites, Medallion seeks additional detail from the highest-ranked areas.
In recent weeks, there has been a rise in the suitability of the United States to produce REEs by the Medallion Monazite Process through bipartisan introduction of legislation (Reclaiming American Rare Earths (RARE) Act) by Texan Senators Congressman Lance Gooden (R-TX) and Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), and the latest executive order from the White House that offers a chance for U.S. government support of critical metal/mineral production.
The RARE Act aims “to reduce America’s dependence on China for rare-earth minerals used in technology manufacturing. The RARE Act would establish tax incentives for the domestic production of rare-earth elements and minerals used to build the technology that keeps our country safe and connected.”
Moreover, as per the September 30th, 2020 executive order from President Donald Trump: “It is the policy of the United States ... [to] prioritize the expansion and protection of the domestic supply chain for minerals and the establishment of secure critical-minerals supply chains.” The executive order noted, a “strong America cannot be dependent on imports from adversaries for the critical minerals that are increasingly necessary to maintain our economic and military strength in the 21st century.”
We are pleased to have completed this siting project with the support of Stantec. The benefits of the Medallion Monazite Process include the modular and scalable design and the need for only commercially-available chemicals. With a small footprint, we envisage it as able to be incorporated in many existing process facilities both in North America and internationally.
Mark Saxon, President and CEO, Medallion Resources Ltd.
Recently, Medallion is pleased to have Talaxis Ltd as a partner and shareholder to support the sourcing of raw materials such as monazite. At present, the company has also been reviewing downstream separation partnerships.
Currently, Monazite is used as a source of REEs in both China and India, where it is regarded as an attractive feedstock because of its high REE content (around 65% REE by weight) and the comparatively high abundance of the magnet metals praseodymium (Pr) and neodymium (Nd).