A company specializing in rare earth element extraction has announced the extension of a memorandum of understanding with a Pennsylvania mining company.
Texas Mineral Resources Corp., or TMRC, extended the MOU executed in July 2016 with anthracite producer Jeddo Coal Co. parent company Pagnotti Enterprises Inc. to evaluate the possibility of recovering and producing scandium and rare earth elements from coal deposits at operations around the Jeddo Basin near Hazleton, Pa.
"We believe joining forces with a well-established Pennsylvania coal company such as Jeddo in the recovery of scandium and other valuable rare earth minerals is a perfect complement to our Round Top heavy rare earth project in Texas," TMRC Chairman Anthony Marchese said in a release. "The potential benefits of such a project will be felt in the surrounding coal community in Pennsylvania as well as by TMRC shareholders. Along with the Department of Energy, we strongly believe there is enormous potential to recover rare earth minerals from coal deposits in the northeastern United States."
The release also mentioned that TMRC led a team that recently submitted a proposal for a $23.75 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for producing salable rare earth elements from U.S. coal and its byproducts.
TMRC says the scandium operation could potentially result in an estimated CapEx of $24 million including a 25% contingency, assuming that 250 tons of sand and siltstones associated with the coal that contains around 100 parts per million of scandium are processed daily.
"The use of scandium in making high strength aluminum alloy is well understood and documented. The only limits to its wide acceptance in the aircraft industry and for its use in military vehicles is its limited supply," TMRC CEO Dan Gorski said in a release.
"A significant portion of the feasibility work we will undertake to explore the potential of the coal deposits will be equally applicable to feasibility work required at our Round Top deposit in southwestern Texas," Gorski said. "We will do all we can to leverage these synergies as we move forward."
Jeddo Coal did not respond to a request for comment.