USA Rare Earth plans solar power for Round Top

USA Rare Earth has committed to solar power for its Round Top Heavy Rare Earth and Critical Minerals Project in West Texas, saying the state’s sunshine levels make it the most appropriate form of energy for the site.
USA Rare Earth plans solar power for Round Top USA Rare Earth plans solar power for Round Top USA Rare Earth plans solar power for Round Top USA Rare Earth plans solar power for Round Top USA Rare Earth plans solar power for Round Top

Over 60% of the materials produced at Round Top to be used in clean-tech

The company estimates it will require approximately 15 MegaWatt to support mining and processing at Round Top, which it estimates will require a solar farm of approximately 45 acres.

Hudspeth County in West Texas reports 292 days of sunshine a year with annual average sunshine of approximately 10 hours a day.  The flatlands to the north and west of Round Top Mountain are at an elevation of approximately 1,219 m.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reports annual average daily solar irradiance of more than 5.5kWh/m2/d for southwest Texas, ranking the Round Top area in NREL's top category for solar irradiance.

The USA Rare Earth chief executive said that renewable energy was in-keeping with the projected use of rare earth materials to be produced at the site.

"With more than 60% of the materials produced at Round Top being used in clean-tech and green-tech applications, we are now committing to extend that clean-green approach into how we design and operate the Round Top Mine," said Pini Althaus, CEO of USA Rare Earth. 

The company's demand for solar power could increase if it decides to relocate its sintered neo magnet manufacturing facility and associated infrastructure to the Round Top Mountain site.

USA Rare Earth, which purchased the sintered neo magnet manufacturing equipment from Hitachi Metals America earlier this year, is currently evaluating options for the location of its plant.

Separation of the REEs and critical minerals extracted from the Round Top deposit will be accomplished using an environmentally benign, energy efficient process.

In mid-July, Quebec-based mining technology firm Geomega Resources also revealed that it plans to recycle rare earth-containing production waste produced by USA Rare Earth.

 

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