Avalon "may build $302.000.000 rare earths plant in southern US"
- MW, JOHANNESBURG - Apr 13, 2012
"TSX- and NYSE-listed Avalon Rare Metals is negotiating with
landowners for two potential sites in the US for a rare-earth
element separation plant to treat product from its flagship
Nechalacho project, in Canada.
CEO Don Bubar said that Avalon sees the Gulf Coast region of the US
as an attractive location for a rare earths plant.
The company recently completed a prefeasibility study focused on a
site in Louisiana, which put a price tag of $302-million on a 10
000 t/y plant.
He said the firm was now actively pursuing land acquisition
opportunities and was proceeding with due diligence investigations
to determine the suitability of each property. It is also still
reviewing potential alternative locations in both the US and in
The Gulf Coast region offered low-cost, bulk transportation
alternatives, and proximity both to suppliers of the chemical
reagents required for the separation process and to potential
customers for its rare-earth products, Bubar added.
The separation plant is designed to treat chemical concentrates
containing a blend of light and heavy rare-earth elements
originating from the Nechalacho deposit, near Thor Lake in the
Bubar said the separation plant design would now be incorporated
into the development model for the project, which would push
Nechalacho’s estimated capital expenditure to about
SNC-Lavalin completed the separation plant prefeasibility study and
is also undertaking the Nechalacho study, which is scheduled for
completion by the end of 2012.
With $50-million in cash resources, the company had sufficient
funding available to complete the feasibility study and cover its
overhead expenses, but needed to raise additional capital to begin
funding preproduction development expenditures, such as deposits
for long-lead-time equipment needed in the processing plant.
Avalon aims to start producing at Thor Lake by 2015.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb "