TMRC consortium awarded second phase of DOE contract targeting production of mixed rare earth oxides from PA coal waste
Texas Mineral Resources Corp. (TMRC), an exploration company targeting the heavy rare earths and a variety of other high-value critical elements and industrial minerals, announced that the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technical Laboratory (NETL) has selected a TMRC-led consortium to continue a contract targeting the production of rare earths from Pennsylvania coal waste.
This contract option continues the successful completion of the first phase of a DOE solicitation award in September 2020. The award value is approximately $1.1 million.
TMRC’s project partners include Penn State, Jeddo Coal Company and McCarl’s. The Texas Mineral Resources consortium objective is to install a self-contained, modular and portable pilot plant at a Jeddo Coal Pennsylvania site, capable of producing 1-3 metric tons of rare earth oxides derived from coal waste material from Pennsylvania anthracite coal.
The project commenced 1 October 2020 and resulted in the TMRC consortium successfully concluding a three-month conceptual design phase.
This is the fourth US Government award relating to the production of rare earth minerals in which Texas Mineral Resources has participated. In 2016, TMRC announced it had successfully completed a demonstration-of-concept project funded by the US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Strategic Materials Division to separate and refine specific high-purity rare earth elements, using a continuous ion exchange (CIX) and continuous ion chromatography (CIC) processing method.
In 2019 a consortium including Texas Mineral Resources consortium successfully completed a US Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy grant to produce multiple separated rare earth minerals from Pennsylvania coal mining waste material. The CIX/CIC method used in both US Government grants is the method being used to process rare earths and additional US Government-listed Critical Minerals from the Round Top (TX) project, being developed by TMRC’s funding and development partner, USA Rare Earth, LLC.
Successful completion of the DOE contract is consistent with a commercial supply chain in which final separation of the mixed REE concentrate into individual high purity rare earth oxides would be accomplished at USA Rare Earth’s processing facility using CIX/CIC processing methodology.
Shortly after the Phase 2 award announcement, TMRC said that NETL had selected a consortium led by the Pennsylvania State University, which includes Texas Mineral Resources, for an award targeting critical mineral recoveries from waste streams.
The grant, “Carbon Ore, Rare Earths and Critical Minerals (CORE-CM) Initiative for U.S. Basins,” will assess and catalog Northern Appalachian Basin rare earth elements and critical minerals resources and waste streams, develop strategies to recover minerals from these streams, and assess the infrastructure, industries and businesses in the Northern Appalachian Basin to determine supply chain gaps.
This is the fifth US Government award relating to the production of rare earth and critical minerals in which Texas Mineral Resources has participated.