NioCorp Developments Ltd.said April 25 that it has completed a solvent extraction pilot plant for the recoveryof scandium as part of its feasibilitystudy for the ElkCreek niobium-superalloy materials in Nebraska.
The pilot plant is a key component of the metallurgical development and designprogram that will lead to the completion of the project's feasibility study, thecompany said.
Between April 18 and April 22, NioCorp operated a continuous solvent extractionat the SGS-Lakefield metallurgical testing facility in Ontario, treating with thepower plant approximately 1,000 liters of scandium-bearing solution derived fromthe project resources.
Preliminary results show that scandium extraction was measured between 95.3%and 99.4% during the five-day pilot run.
The pilot plant operated smoothly and established operating conditions thatdemonstrated excellent phase separation between aqueous and organic steams, companyofficials said.
The plant produced approximately seven liters of an organic solution loadedwith scandium that will be used in solvent extraction stripping studies.
NioCorp plansto produce 97 tonnes per year of scandium trioxide from the facility once full-scaleproduction begins.