Terrafame is preparing laboratory-scale extraction trial of rare earth elements and uranium 21.6.2017
Terrafame Ltd. is preparing trial extraction of rare earth elements and uranium. The purpose of the laboratory scale trial is to gain information about the functioning of the solvent extraction process. The company is constantly engaged in various trial and research operations.
“Terrafame is not producing uranium at the moment nor have any decisions been made on starting uranium production. As stated before, we have been examining an option where uranium production could start from 2019 onwards. In relation to the financial significance of nickel and zinc production, uranium recovery is not of critical importance, but it would add to Terrafame’s current business and would also further improve the efficiency of using natural resources,” says Joni Lukkaroinen, Terrafame’s CEO.
“In the trial phase, our aim is to gain additional information on the details of uranium extraction. Terrafame owns an almost completed uranium extraction plant, so we are mapping out the potential use of the plant in the future,” Lukkaroinen says.
The trial provides more information for planning plant-scale production
Terrafame’s purpose is to start the trial, which lasts approximately two months, in August–September 2017. In the laboratory-scale tests, only the extraction phase, where rare earth elements and natural uranium are separated from the main process solution of the metals production plant for analysis, is performed. No uranium oxide nor other further processed products are formed in the trial. Terrafame is applying for a permit needed for the trial from the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority.
The laboratory-scale trial has no environmental effects. If Terrafame started uranium production, ore would not be mined separately but the uranium to be produced would be formed as a by-product of the current production process. As stated, for example, in the ongoing environmental impact assessment procedure, Terrafame is preparing, conditions permitting, to apply for a permit to produce uranium from the Government of Finland during 2017 at the earliest.
Joni Lukkaroinen, Terrafame Ltd., CEO, email@example.com