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Perry visits DOE-funded rare earth extraction project in Pennsylvania

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Perry visits DOE-funded rare earth extraction project in Pennsylvania

Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa. visited Texas Mineral Resources Corp.'s U.S. Department of Energy-funded rare earth project at Jeddo Coal Co. in eastern Pennsylvania.

In June, the DOE granted US$1 million to a consortium assembled by Texas Mineral Resources Corp., or TMRC, which includes Inventure Renewables Inc., K-Technologies Inc. and Penn State University.

The Texas Mineral group will install a modular and portable continuous ion exchange/continuous ion chromatography pilot plant at the project site and work on assessing the economic viability of producing scandium and other rare earth elements associated with coal waste material.

Late last year, TMRC extended a memorandum of understanding with Jeddo Coal to evaluate the recovery and production of scandium and rare earth elements from its coal deposits.

According to TMRC, potential production of scandium oxide could clock in at 13,000 kilograms per year. At a production rate of 250 tonnes per day, using a current market price of $2,000/kg, the operation could result in netting an annual pretax cash flow of about $17 million after royalty payments to the coal company.

"Our team is gratified that Secretary Perry and Congressman Barletta took the time to visit our site," TMRC CEO Dan Gorski said in an Oct. 4 release. "The work we're doing under the Department of Energy grant will demonstrate how well our process can extract key rare earths from what has been seen up to now as anthracite coal waste piles. As a country, we can begin to reduce our total dependency on Chinese REEs, with rare earths recovered in Pennsylvania."