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JSC Dalur begins pre-production mining for bulk concentrations of rare earth metals
On February 19, 2013, JSC Dalur has brought into operation the pilot plant for pre-production mining of bulk concentrations of rare earth metals (REM) from product solutions extracted during uranium production. The opening ceremony for the new plant was attended by Igor Zhilkin, First Deputy Director General – Chief Operating Officer of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co., Kurgan Region power officials, and Aleksey Dementiev, Director General of the company.
"This new project will allow us to significantly increase JSC Dalur’s cost effectiveness" Igor Zhilkin noted. "Without large investments we will be able to produce REM concentrate from the same product solutions in addition to uranium".
For processing and manufacturing of final products (99.9% of scandium oxide and alumino-scandium alloy), REM bulk concentrate from JSC Dalur will be delivered to the leaching plant in Lermontov. That plant is owned by Intermix Met LLC which acts as the company’s partner for the project, provides investments, and pays for mining services.
About 35 mln rubles were invested into this project in 2012. In 2013-2023, total investment should amount to 500 mln rubles. It is planned to increase production volume from 24.5 t of concentrate in 2013 to 134 t in 2023. Final products will be used by Russian aerospace industry companies as well as by a number of Russian and foreign industrial holding companies.
"Apart from developing uranium production, JSC Atomredmetzoloto’s strategy includes business diversification. The start of pre-production mining at JSC Dalur is an important step to achieve that aim. This project is the first initiative of Rosatom State Corporation in the REM mining segment, and is of strategic importance for the whole Russian nuclear industry" emphasized Tigran Khachaturov, Acting Director General of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co.