Australian news, and some related international items

Bid for rare earths mining and processing in Australia


Is there any awareness in Australia of the dangers of toxic radioactive trash from rare earths mining and processing?

Next mining boom in Australia will be driven by tech metals for renewable energy and technologies ABC Rural By Babs McHugh, 17 Apr 17  The Australian mining industry is on the verge of a new mining boom based around so-called tech metals.

And as the race cranks up across the nation to find new deposits of rare earths and other metals, industry itself is calling for the development of a value-adding component……

The tech metals complex is made up of rare earths and other minerals and metals that are used in what is referred to as the new economy. They are essential to making high technology componentry such as mobile phones, solar cells and autonomous vehicles.They are also used to make the different kinds of batteries needed to store power from renewable sources, and new types of lightweight engines to replace traditional combustion engines……..

Rare earth hunters also want local value-adding industry There are 17 rare earth elements on the periodic table, falling into the heavy rare earths or light rare earths depending on their atomic weight.

Up until recently, all rare earths were mined and exported from China, which has had a stranglehold on the industry and its pricing. Given their global importance, the race is well and truly on to find more rare earth deposits, and Australia is a favoured hunting ground.

“They’re actually quite ubiquitous in the Earth’s crust,” Arafura Resources managing director Gavin Lockyer said.”Why they’re associated with the term rare is the fact that it’s rare to find them in an economically recoverable quantity.”

Australia the perfect place for processing Arafura Resources has done that with its Nolans Bore project 135 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.The find is considered significant, featuring a 56-million-tonne deposit with a 40-year mine life. It is full of neodymium and praseodymium, which is used to make magnets, the bulk of which are now sourced from China.

“We really think there’s much more value-add to be had by doing downstream processing, and Australia is the perfect place to do that. “We’ve got an existing regulatory environment that covers things like water usage, environmental aspects, air pollutants, transport and disposal. “There’s already a well-established regime and bureaucracy in place to regulate that, and we think it’s better to do that at the mine site where it all happens, rather than trying to do it offshore and making it somebody else’s problem……

April 19, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, rare earths

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