Medallion Resources (CVE: MDL)(OTCQX: MLLOF) says it has produced preliminary technical processing plans for a monazite-based rare earth processing facility expected to be constructed in the Middle East.
The plans, which were drawn up together with metallurgical consultants, included flow sheets and initial capital and operating financial models.
The proposed facility, based on anticipated rare earth oxide production of 10,000 tonnes per year, includes modules for monazite feedstock upgrading, total rare earth extraction from monazite, and separation of individual light and heavy rare earth oxides.
Rare earths are used for virtually all computing and mobile electronic products, as well as wind turbines, electric and hybrid vehicles and strategic defense systems.
"Over the last few months, while senior management has advanced discussions with potential Middle East joint-venture partners, we have completed our initial rare-earth-processing technical plans, which significantly reduces project risk,” said chairman and CEO of Medallion, Dr Bill Bird.
"This work provides solid support for our approach and the project’s attractive economics, and has strengthened our position in the current partnership discussions."
Medallion’s rare-earth production strategy is to exploit available supplies of monazite, a rare-earth phosphate mineral that is a by-product of heavy-mineral-sands mining operations and that has a "proven, metallurgical extraction process", the company said.
It also noted this model fits "exceptionally well" with the goals of potential Middle East joint venture partners, with negotiations to finance the facility moving forward "steadily and positively".
"The Middle East offers first-class transportation and industrial infrastructure, low-cost power, and ready availability of necessary chemicals and skilled labour. These positive and practical attributes are supported by industry-friendly jurisdictions," Medallion said in a statement.
The company's president and director, Donald Lay, added: "Having just attended the MENA Mining Show in Dubai on October 22 and 23, as both a presenter and sponsor, I can confirm that there is significant interest in, and positive support for, Medallion’s monazite business model.
“I am at the TZMI Congress in Hong Kong this week, where our management team is discussing monazite feedstock procurement with industry representatives of the titanium and zircon feedstock industries.”