The company is preparing to announce the exact location of its proposed monazite-based rare-earth processing facility in the Middle East.
“We are working with a number of sovereign-related parties in the Gulf States to situate a rare- earth processing plant,” the company’s president, Don Lay, told Proactive Investors in a recent interview.
He says that discussions have been had in a number of states already, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.
“We picked this region because it is quite close to 80% of the world’s monazite resources, and these jurisdictions have access to power, chemicals and labour. There is good infrastructure.”
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".
Early last month, the company produced preliminary technical plans for the proposed processing facility, including flow sheets and initial capital and operating financial models.
The plans, 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.
“These states in the Middle East are all looking for industry in a post-petroleum world. The oil and gas will not last forever and they need new industries in which to get involved. The monazite-based rare-earth processing facility is a terrific hedge in a post-petroleum world,” Lay said earlier this month.
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. Demand for the metals is projected to grow dramatically.
The bulk of rare earths derived from monazite include lanthanum, cerium, and neodymium, used widely in magnet production, with “hundreds” of other applications as well.
Shares of Medallion were lately up by 6 per cent this afternoon to 17.5 cents, with 232,750 shares changing hands, compared to the 50-day average of 31,523.