Namibia Critical Metals will extract significant amounts of dysprosium and terbium, two of the most valuable heavy rare earth elements, from the Lofdal Heavy Rare Earth Deposit, Namibia, after completing feasibility tests.
The Canada-based mining company said it completed hydrometallurgical test work to develop a flowsheet capable of producing a high-grade rare-earth oxide product from a xenotime flotation concentrate.
The project is a joint venture between Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC); the partners target a long-term supply of heavy rare earths to Japan.
The tests produced two flotation concentrates by processing bulk samples from the Lofdal deposit at SGS Minerals Services Canada's (SGS) laboratories to determine the potential for creating a marketable rare earth product with minimal impurities.
Darrin Campbell, president, Namibia Critical Metals, described the test results as a "big milestone" for the Lofdal project and said it shows that the company is close to demonstrating that it can produce a valuable heavy rare earth product.
"This will allow us to advance an updated assessment of large-scale and integrated rare earth production towards a high purity Rare Earth Oxide product in Namibia," Campbell explained.
"This would result in further value addition in Namibia and puts the country on the global map of rare earth supply strategies."