Rare Element Resources’ processing plant nears completion

Rare Element Resources has provided a progress update on its rare earth recovery and separation demonstration plant currently being constructed in Upton, Wyo. The strategic materials company said operations are expected to commence in the third quarter.

“All activities are moving us toward the goal of plant startup in the next few months. With an operations manager in place and operations contractor selection underway, we are now starting to transition from design and construction to operations,” said President and CEO Ken Mushinski.

“The DOE is aware of the extraordinary inflationary pressures that have occurred since the project budget was initially estimated in 2021, and we are hopeful the DOE will contribute further cost-share funds to offset the increased financial costs of the project,” he added. “While we focus on the important next steps, including confirming a final budget and schedule with the DOE, we are pleased with the efforts and dedication of our partners in this project, including their subcontractors, which have led to the progress achieved thus far, and we look forward to the timely commencement of operations.”

Under the direction of general contractor Loenbro, the brownfield site upgrades have either been completed or have progressed to near completion. Site utility system upgrades, including electric, water, sewer, and site earth work, have been completed. Exterior catchment and sediment control systems have been installed, and the fire suppression system is in place. 

Most exterior upgrades to the expansion of the building that will house the plant have been completed. Modular office trailers and a rock crusher for processing the feed sample were delivered to the site and are being installed. 

Rare Element Resources said it is also proceeding with longer-lead time purchases to support operations, including by securing an operations contractor and purchasing chemicals and other consumables.

Source: Rare Element Resources

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