CSE-listed Auxico Resources has announced plans to build a 10 000 km2 rare earth refining facility in the free-trade zone in Santa Marta, Colombia, capable of processing 36 000 t/y of ore.
The company signed a lease agreement with an option to purchase four lots of land within the Zona Franca Tayrona industrial park.
The $116.2-million rare-earth refinery will incorporate standard metallurgical processes with innovative extraction technologies, resulting in lower energy consumption, significantly shorter and cost-effective processing cycles, and an overall lower environmental impact.
The concentrates of rare earth will be sourced from the properties the company is currently developing in Colombia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Additional concentrates will be sourced from properties in Brazil and Bolivia, for which the company is finalising supply agreements.
The company has completed a series of metallurgical tests using ultrasound-assisted extraction processes for mineral extraction and earlier this year signed a technology licence agreement.