Northern Minerals continued to optimize its cutting-edge rare earth processing lines in Western Australia and added an ore sorter. The management stated that the sorter may double the feed grade of the grinding line. The new equipment can also provide considerable cost savings for future production by increasing output and reducing capital and business expenditures.
The company has now completed the commissioning of the ore sorter and is preparing to reinvest in research and development, and has achieved positive results in the step-by-step test of similar equipment. The upcoming tests by commercial-scale units will include processing bulk samples from the Brown Mountains heavy rare earth deposits, using these data to provide actual processing information, and leveraging Northern Mining’s expertise in processing and beneficiating these increasingly valuable ores. The CEO of Northern Mining, Mark Torri, stated that with the commissioned ore sorter, we can now run bulk samples from our existing stock of ore (including lower grade materials) to better define how we Apply this technology to optimize our preferred beneficiation process. The Browns Mountains Heavy Rare Earths project being developed by the company is located 160 kilometers southeast of Hol Creek, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia across the border of the Northern Territory. The mining rights of Northern Minerals cover more than 2,750 square kilometers of mineral-rich land. The company has discovered no less than 7 independent mineral deposits near its pilot plant operations, including Wolverine, Gold Medal, Cyclops and Female Wolf.
Although Northern Mining's exploration projects continue to search for new heavy rare earth resources in the fertile Kimberley rock formations, the company already has a large inventory of resources to meet the needs of long-term mining and grinding operations. The company's current resources include more than 9 million tons of potential feed, and the grade of rare earth oxides accounts for 0.67% of the total, including some highly sought-after heavy rare earth elements such as dysprosium, terbium and yttrium. After building a pilot plant in the Brown Mountains and conducting major R&D and process development, Northern Mining Corporation determined that the fastest and most cost-effective way would be to build the front end of its proposed plant to produce in an increasingly hungry market Heavy rare earth concentrate.The proposed commercial plant will include a crushing and sorting circuit, which will be sent to the grinding circuit and concentrator. The company hopes to produce a rare earth-rich carbonate product that will be sold to the demanding global market.
Interestingly, Northern Mining produced more than 40 tons of dysprosium and terbium carbonate products earlier this year, which were shipped to ThyssenKrupp Europe, its main purchasing partner.As part of the growing electric vehicle revolution, rare earths are increasingly being used in car engines, and as Northern Mining Corporation shifts to production, it is attracting more than it should be. It is said that the company is now considering the supply and acceptance of more potential buyers.At present, China controls about 90% of the world's rare earth production and uses 70% of the production of heavy rare earths, which makes the rest of the world scramble for supply.As the price of rare earths continues to rise, Northern Mining has placed itself in an enviable strategic position. The company seems to be entering the final stage of testing that has led to commercial production of the brown distance and the new ore sorting machine looks set to fulfill its promise and begin to provide a unique heavy rare earth product to the technology market in Europe and the United States.