Direct Extraction (DX)
After primary processing, WHIMS concentrate from the Pimary Processing in Labrador will be delivered to a port proximate to the Hydrometallurgy Processing Plant.
The proposed hydrometallurgical process starts with an acid bake process. This is a widely practised method of decomposing REE minerals and is presently used to produce most of the world's REE supply. The proposed Search Minerals plant would dissolve the REE from the acid bake product and remove impurities through hydrolysis in a fairly standard process. The balance of the process includes REE precipitation and releach followed by multiple stages of purification ahead of REE carbonate precipitation.
The Hydrometallurgical Processing Plant is planed to be constructed on an existing brownfield site on the island of Newfoundland. The exact location of the Hydrometallurgical Processing Plant has not yet been selected.
Solvent Extraction (SE)
After direct extraction is completed, solvent extraction can begin. This process uses solvents to further separate the rare earth oxides into individual oxides of permanent magnet materials, allowing them to be made into magnet materials using the metals alloy production process.
Metals Alloy Production
In this stage, the individual oxides produced through solvent extraction are made into permanent magnet metals by Search and our partners, which can then be turned into thousands of vital products by manufacturers. This vertical integration creates greater value and allows us to directly support the North American rare earth supply chain.
Learn more about the environmental benefits of Search's processing technology