Greenland Minerals and Energy (GMEL) has successfully completed pilot plant operation of the Kvanefjeld beneficiation circuit in southern Greenland.
The Australian company conducted the plant operation through the EURARE programme at the laboratories of GTK Finland.
According to GMEL, the beneficiation circuit produces a rare earth-rich mineral concentrate, and a zinc concentrate using froth flotation.
Aimed at generating 2t of rare earth-rich mineral concentrate, the pilot plant operation presented an opportunity to the company to further test the flotation circuit on a larger scale.
The plant processed 26t of ore to produce the targeted amount of 2t of rare earth-rich mineral concentrate.
GMEL plans to use the mineral concentrate in a pilot plant operation of the refinery circuit that is scheduled to be held in Pori, Finland, in September.
The refinery pilot plant aims to generate a mixed rare earth concentrate, and will build on continuous refining test work that was earlier carried out by the company on flotation (mineral) concentrates.
A subsequent rare earth separation pilot plant will be performed at Aachen University, Germany, using the end-product from the refinery pilot plant.
Test works on the beneficiation circuit confirmed the ability to concentrate the main rare earth minerals cost-effectively into less than 10% of the original ore mass, using a single method in froth flotation.