Heavy mineral sands operators capture monazite REE value

Heavy mineral sands operators capture monazite REE value

Australian-based heavy-minerals-sand company, MRG Metals, announced its intention to explore for REEs and uranium across three exploration licenses in Mozambique.

Blue View

MRG Metals announced its intention to explore for rare earth elements (REEs) and uranium across three exploration licenses in Mozambique, and is ready to begin as soon as applications are greenlit by Mozambican authorities. MRG plans to define monazite mineralisation in hard-rock and weathered sedimentary rocks of granitic origin that were identified in a regional airborne geophysical survey.

This would not be MRG’s only activity in Mozambique since it already has an existing titanium and zircon heavy mineral sands (HMS) project in the southern Mozambican province of Gaza, roughly 780km from these new licenses. Apart from these licenses, REEs are currently being explored in Mozambique by Altona Rare Earths with their Monte Muambe carbonatite project in the northwestern Tete province. Altona also recently reported “significant REE mineralisation” at Monte Muambe, while progressing with their drilling programme which began in October 2021.

With tightening supply amidst growing demand for NdPr rare earths in electric vehicle drivetrain motors, rare earth exploration is rampant across its diverse geological landscape. By-product (previously waste) monazite HMS tailings have become the latest growing source of rare earth supply to the Chinese refining industry. In Madagascar, HMS monazite by-product recovery started at Rio Tinto’s QMM operation in 2018, while in Australia, Iluka Resources completed its first phase of mixed monazite-zircon screening and exporting to China in December 2021 from its Eneabba HMS tailings stockpile.

  • 19 May 2022
  • China
  • Light rare earths
  • Heavy rare earths

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