By the end of August, the company anticipates that the KRP will be ready to produce heavy rare earth oxides of erbium, gadolinium and dysprosium to 99.99 percent purity. Stans Energy acquired the KRP in spring 2011 and has extensively refurbished plant #3, which has not operated for close to 20 years.
“We are extremely pleased with the progress made to date at plant #3,” Robert Mackay, the president and CEO of Stans Energy Corp., said. “Through the course of our renovation, and in consultation with our technical advisors at VNIIHT, we discovered the potential for recovering nearly two (metric tons) of mixed rare earths oxides from concentrate that remains in the holding tanks. The concentrate consists of dysprosium, gadolinium, samarium, yttrium, holmium, ytterbium, erbium, thulium and lutetium. This production test run will demonstrate the operational viability of the KRP plant.”
The Russian Research Institute of Chemical Technology is designing new technology to incorporate into a new plant #1 at the KRP. Stans Energy is currently determining whether to rehabilitate plant #2 or to construct a new plant using plastic solvent extraction equipment.
“This validation of our proven metallurgical processes and production assets will solidify our position as one of the front-runners to rare earth oxide production outside of China,” Mackay said. “In this period of transition from project development through infrastructure build-out, and ultimately production readiness, Stans Energy will continue the evaluation of other potential sources of concentrates. Above all, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our engineering and technical teams on this milestone achievement and for their contribution to company progress.”