(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Crossland Uranium Mines (ASX: CUX) has started downstream hydrometallurgical testwork on a recent high grade Monazite/ Xenotime concentrate generated from its Charley Creek Rare Earth Project in the Northern Territory.
This testwork is designed to demonstrate that the Charley Creek TREO Concentrate is amenable to conventional sulphuric acid digest and caustic 'crack' processes, making a suitable feedstock for existing REO refineries.
The results will also provide design input for a future engineering study for a rare earth refinery to produce a light and heavy rare earth carbonate or hydroxide products from Charley Creek concentrate.
Crossland had generated bulk TREO concentrate containing 44% TREO from over 400kg of Heavy Mineral Concentrate prepared on site from 10 separate sample pits across the Cattle Creek and Cockroach Alluvial Deposits at Charley Creek.
Preliminary results using sulphuric acid digest and water leach on this concentrate has resulted in 95.5% TREO extraction.
The downstream hydrometallurgical testwork is being undertaken at ALS Metallurgy in Perth under the direction of Crossland. Caustic 'crack' test work using sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid is now being progressed and these results will be released during the current quarter.
Crossland has also engaged MSP Engineering to carry out a Scoping Study on the production of Monazite/ Xenotime mineral concentrates as the initial saleable product of the project.
This study is slated for completion during January 2013.
Additionally, GHD have started base line surveys as part of an Environmental Impact Study of an initial 20 year mine, and potential Dry Plant site areas. The EIS is targeted for completion by the end of 2013 to allow permitting to proceed in 2014.