Eurobattery Minerals AB, a mining and exploration company with a vision to help Europe become self-sufficient in ethically-sourced battery minerals, has announced an extension of its ongoing collaboration with Uppsala University, in Sweden.
The company has supported the university in its application to the Swedish innovation agency, Vinnova, for a project that focuses on new and modern methods of extracting rare earth elements (REE) from the shales in Fetsjön and other apatite-rich discoveries in Sweden.
As part of this project, Eurobattery Minerals will provide both mineralised samples from Fetsjön, as well as financial funding, it said. Vinnova is expected to announce its decision at the beginning of spring 2021.
Scientists from the Department of Earth Sciences at Uppsala University have figured out an efficient way of extracting REE from phosphates typically located in black shales, such as in Fetsjön, according to Eurobattery Minerals. The next step is to create a small experimental plant and run university-led REE beneficiation experiments on a larger scale.
“We are thrilled to continue to support the scientists at Uppsala University,” Roberto García Martínez, CEO of Eurobattery Minerals, said. “In Fetsjön, we know from previous comprehensive drilling and analyses that the REE level in the black shales is high. As critical components to the electric revolution, we are interested in finding efficient and sustainable methods to obtain those minerals from our projects.”
The project is headed by Dr Jaroslaw Majka, Associate Professor in Metamorphic Petrology at the Department of Earth Sciences at Uppsala University.
Dr Majka said: “We are excited about the possibility to conduct larger-scale testing of this new industrialised method for extracting rare earth elements. We believe that it will enable more efficient and sustainable extraction of these key components in electric vehicles and other battery-run equipment.”