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  • Peak Resources Produces Third High-Purity Rare Earth Oxide From Ngualla 0 comments
    Aug 28, 2013 2:15 AM

    Peak Resources (ASX: PEK; OTCQX: PKRLY) has produced the third separated high purity rare earth oxide (REO) from a bulk sample of mineralisation from the company's 100% owned Ngualla Rare Earth Project in Tanzania.

    The lanthanum oxide was produced at the Solvent Extraction Pilot Plant currently in operation at ANSTO Minerals (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation).

    Lanthanum compounds are used in a number of high-end technological applications, including nickel-metal hydride batteries, high quality camera and optical lenses, fibre optics and catalysts.

    The high purity lanthanum oxide follows the mid+heavy rare earth oxide and the neodymium-praseodymium rare earth oxide produced in May and July 2013 respectively.

    Analysis

    Ngualla is one of the very few rare earth development projects to successfully produce high purity separated products from its mineralisation and this is an important step in de-risking the project.

    The ability to produce separated high purity rare earth oxide adds significant value and allows access to wider markets for Ngualla's products.

    Peak has made samples and analyses of the products are available to potential customers for assessment during discussions for off-take agreements.

    Value drivers for Ngualla

    The value drivers for Ngualla are the praseodymium-neodymium and mid+heavy high purity oxide products (pictured below), which together contribute 85% of projected annual revenue. The lower priced cerium and lanthanum oxides are relative by-products at 15% of the total revenue.

    (click to enlarge)

    Neodymium and praseodymium are important specialty metals used in the renewable energy, green and high technology industries.

    These high value rare earths are combined with iron and boron to create powerful permanent magnets, (also known as NdFeB or NIB magnets) used in computers, cell phones, wind turbines, hybrid cars, audio systems, medical equipment and electric motors.

    There is growing evidence of a turnaround in the rare earth sector; prices are rising for neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and gadolinium and are stabilising for the remaining rare earths.

    There are reports that buyers are starting to re-enter the market on the back of depleted stocks leading to an increase in Chinese exports.

    Neodymium - praseodymium oxide is currently valued at around $73,000 to $77,000 per tonne and has seen a 35% increase since prices hit their lowest point for two years in July this year.

    Lanthanum Oxide

    The high purity lanthanum oxide is a single separated rare earth product (main photo) with very low impurity levels.

    The purity of >99% REO meets the specification requirements for the catalyst, phosphor and ceramic markets.

    Lanthanum compounds are used extensively in a number of high-end technological applications, including nickel-metal hydride batteries for hybrid cars, high quality camera and telescopic lenses, fibre optics, catalysts in oil refineries, satellite communications, ceramics and carbon lighting.

    Lanthanum oxide represents 11% of the expected revenue stream and 28% of the product output from the envisaged Ngualla operation.

    The production of high purity rare earth oxides from a representative bulk sample of mineralisation de-risks Ngualla and distinguishes it from other development projects.

    Technical Report

    The separated, high purity lanthanum oxide was produced by the Solvent Extraction (SX) Pilot Plant currently in operation at ANSTO Minerals test facility near Sydney.

    It is the third of four oxides to be produced from a 1.3 tonne bulk sample of
    weathered Bastnaesite Zone mineralisation from Ngualla using the simple sulphuric acid leach recovery process.

    This follows the medium+heavy rare earth oxide produced in May and the neodymium-praseodymium oxide produced in July.

    The SX Pilot Plant work is progressing well with only a high purity cerium oxide remaining to be produced in September 2013.

    Samples of the first three products are available for assessment by potential off take customers.

    Proactive Investors Australia is the market leader in producing news, articles and research reports on ASX "Small and Mid-cap" stocks with distribution in Australia, UK, North America and Hong Kong / China.

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