The US Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has finalized an Assistance Agreement providing approximately US$21.9 million to a project led by General Atomics for the engineering, construction and operation of a rare earth separation and processing demonstration plant to be located in Wyoming. (Earlier post.)
Rare Element Resources (RER) is a subrecipient to General Atomics in the demonstration project, which will incorporate RER’s proprietary technology.
The award represents approximately one-half of the total estimated costs for the project, with the remainder of the funding to be secured by RER. RER, along with the other team members, is expected to finalize within the next several weeks contractual arrangements with General Atomics to perform work on the project.
The planned demonstration plant will produce commercial-grade neodymium/praseodymium (“Nd/Pr”) rare earth high-purity oxide in use in producing high-strength permanent magnets utilizing our proprietary processing and separation technology. These high-strength permanent magnets are a key component in the manufacture of electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines, among other technology uses. We believe our rare earth demonstration project is timely to meet the growing demand of these products.
RER anticipates that the demonstration plant design, permitting and licensing, and construction will be finalized within a period of 18–26 months. Operations to process and separate rare earth elements from the previously stockpiled Bear Lodge Project ore are expected to follow for an additional 12–14-month period. The total timeline for the demonstration project is 40 months. The plant will be in Upton, Wyoming, near RER’s Bear Lodge Project.