Hastings Technology Metals Limited (
The Yangibana Nd-Pr Rare Earths Project is located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. The Company plans to construct a processing plant to produce a Mixed Rare Earths Carbonate product, through the process of mining, beneficiation and hydrometallurgy. The beneficiation and hydrometallurgical circuits have previously been successfully tested at pilot scale. This second beneficiation pilot plant has further validated the beneficiation circuit as well as providing information and samples for detailed engineering design.
"Confirming and exceeding the results of the first pilot study is another important milestone in the development of the Yangibana Project. These results provide us the confidence to push ahead with final financing leading to construction", said its Executive Chairman, Charles Lew.
Pilot Plant Summary
The simple and effective flowsheet developed in the laboratory test work program has translated into a 100kg/hr pilot processing circuit, operating 24 hours per day continuously over 8 days at ALS Metallurgy in Balcatta, Western Australia. ALS, with a specialist team dedicated to pilot plant operations, is a global leader in metallurgical testing and consulting services for minerals process flowsheet development and optimisation.
The flowsheet consisted of milling, rougher flotation, regrind and cleaner flotation stages. The flotation circuit selectively concentrates the rare earths-bearing mineral monazite into a final product whilst discarding 95% of the original rock waste mass.
Flotation process design was reconfirmed, as the performance output of the pilot plant improved over the course of the 8 days. A waste-diluted feed grade to the pilot plant of 1.02% TREO, simulated real mining effects of drilling and blasting, in the process testing the robustness of the process flow sheet equipment under less than ideal conditions.
Over 700kg of REO concentrate was produced of which 400kg of concentrate contained 8.6% Nd2O3+Pr6O11 upgraded from 0.43% by 20 times. This concentrate will be used to validate the design of the acid concentrate mixer and selection of other critical equipment in the detailed design.
Results of 12-hour shift composites gave 80.1% TREO recovery at 19% TREO, including 7.8% Nd2O3+Pr6O11. Maximum concentrate grades of 25.9% TREO, including 10.6% Nd2O3+Pr6O11 were achieved during the operation. The maiden pilot plant test achieved a maximum recovery of 70.8% at a concentrate grade of 23% TREO, including 9.8% Nd2O3+Pr6O11.
Key areas of the engineering design were tested during the pilot plant campaign, with lead engineers involved in the front-end engineering design phase visiting the operation. Vital data was obtained, including updated findings for slurry pulp, solid liquid separation steps and concentrate properties, all of which can be applied for engineering design optimisation.
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About Hastings Technology Metals Ltd
Hastings Technology Metals Ltd (ASX:HAS) is advancing its Yangibana Rare Earths Project in the Upper Gascoyne Region of Western Australia towards production. The proposed beneficiation and hydro metallurgy processing plant will treat rare earths deposits, predominantly monazite, hosting high neodymium and praseodymium contents to produce a mixed rare earths carbonate that will be further refined into individual rare earth oxides at processing plants overseas.
Neodymium and praseodymium are vital components in the manufacture of permanent magnets which is used in a wide and expanding range of advanced and high-tech products including electric vehicles, wind turbines, robotics, medical applications and others. Hastings aims to become the next significant producer of neodymium and praseodymium outside of China.
Hastings holds 100% interest in the most significant deposits within the overall project, and 70% interest in additional deposits that will be developed at a later date, all held under Mining Leases. Numerous prospects have been identified warranting detailed exploration to further extend the life of the project.
The Brockman deposit, near Halls Creek in Western Australia, contains JORC Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources, estimated using the guidelines of JORC Code (2012 Edition).
The Company is also progressing a Mining Lease application over the Brockman Rare Earths and Rare Metals Project.
Hastings aims to capitalise on the strong demand for critical rare earths created by the expanding demand for new technology products.
Chief Operating Officer
General Manager Exploration