Aclara Seeks to Process Rare Earths in the U.S.

by | 4. Apr 2024 - 10:11 | Economy

A new subsidiary is set to accelerate the development of processing capacities.

By establishing a subsidiary (PDF) in the United States, mining group Aclara Resources wants to become the first vertically integrated company for heavy rare earths outside Asia. The raw material is set to come from Chile and Brazil, where the Chile-based company, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is developing raw material projects. In both cases, the deposits are ion adsorption clays, from which only China and Myanmar are currently extracting rare earths. Around 16 percent of the world’s rare earth oxide production comes from this type of deposit.

The task of the newly founded Group subsidiary Aclara Technologies Inc. is to develop the capacity to process the material mined in South America into oxides. To this end, contracts have been concluded with the Saskatchewan Research Council for the technical process and Hatch Ltd. for economic feasibility studies. Whether and where the plant will be built depends on the results of the analyses. Technical research is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter 2024. In March, Aclara Resources agreed on a joint venture with the Chilean CAP Group (PDF) for further processing steps to produce metals and alloys from rare earths. The alloys can then be further processed by magnet manufacturers and used in electric cars or wind turbines, for example. To date, China has dominated both the production of rare earths and the manufacture of permanent magnets from rare earths.

Photo: iStock/Michael Ien Cohen

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