Rare Earth Group
Rare-earth elements (REE) include the following members:
The name is misleading. With the exception of Promethium (Pm) Rare Earth Elements are basically not rare but are available in greater quantities than copper for instance. What is rare is a concentration in ores that allows economically feasible extraction. This renders the efficiency of processing systems for Rare Earth especially important as it allows lower cut off grades and better profits.
Demand for REE
Rare Earth elements play a very important role in several industries including computer chip, communication device, magnets, alloys, ceramic and glass manufacturing industries. Since those are growing industries of high priority Rare Earth supply has become an issue reflected in sharply rising prices and supply shortages.
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Rare Earth Extraction
In most cases the processing is restricted to the production of concentrate complexes. Those concentrates already are of economic value and can be sold on the market. The extraction of single rare earth elements from ore requires significant efforts and expensive processing infrastructure. Even though technically possible, it turns out to be more feasible to produce concentrate and sell them to specialized smelter facilities with respective processing means. This is especially true for Indonesia which has no mid or downstream industry utilizing REE.
The regulatory framework for processing REE materials in many countries, including Indonesia, is not yet established. The rules pertaining to REE processing, especially mid and downstream, are not clear hence constitute additional risks for investors. The upstream segment and production of concentrates is feasible when proper legal project preparation is assumed.
The lack of a regulatory framework, the abundance (compared to most other countries) of REE deposits in Indonesia and the lack of expertise related to REE processing on the other hand constitute an opportunity with great potential. Indonesia is not lacking the ore, it is the know how and expertise as well as mid and long term oriented investment horizons that constitute the problem. Once that is solved there is no reason not to cover more of the value added chain in the REE production industry, especially when the high tech sector is developed alongside.
All starts with knowledge. The essentials you need to know about your ore are:
Before any major production plant is realized the laboratory data is complemented by actual batch testing in a pilot plant. Once the laboratory data matches the results for batch trials we can realize the final production plant. The concentrates are send to buyer affiliate specialized laboratories to analyses the purity, composition and economic value.
There are many things to know and consider. We understand that this can be confusing. Do not let this trouble and hinder you from starting your operations. The initial consultancy for orientation purposes is free and you are welcome to talk to us. Just leave your details and we get back to you within 24 hours.
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