Metso and Torngat Metals partner on rare earth processing pilot

Torngat Metals Ltd and Metso have signed a contract for large-volume pilot scale processing of ore, with the focus of the agreement being to pilot test the beneficiation of ore extracted from Torngat’s Strange Lake rare earth project in Québec, Canada.

This project is a critical driver for the electrification value chain, specifically the manufacturing of permanent magnets for electric motors, wind turbines and other low carbon technologies, Metso said.

The process incorporates advanced technologies including X-ray sensor-based ore sorting, magnetic separation and flotation, based on Metso’s proprietary and leading-edge technology. This work is being executed in close collaboration with GTK Mintec (Geological Survey of Finland), the company added.

“We are very pleased to expand this partnership with Metso, not only because of its world leading mineral processing expertise and capabilities, but also because of the values we share in our commitment to enabling sustainability and decarbonisation in our operations and in our communities,” Dirk Naumann, President and CEO of Torngat, said.

The first phase of work will be completed by the end of 2023, resulting in the production of a rare earth concentrate. The next phase of work will use the rare earth concentrate to scale-up and optimise the subsequent process steps to produce a mixed rare earth solution, based on Metso’s expertise in acid- and heat-based minerals processing and purification, it said. Metso will also provide production-scale engineering and offer technology and equipment solutions for future commercial operations with Torngat.

Torngat is a private company developing the Strange Lake project in the Nunavik region of Québec to provide a long-term responsible supply of rare earths required for technologies including electric vehicles and wind turbines.