Research and Development
Research and Development (R&D) are essential for driving the future growth for rare earth end–user applications as well as more efficient processing.
Rare earth end user applications are predicted to double in the next 5-10 years as technology improves production process and end user applications.
As part of the planned development of the Jongju mining area a hi-tech industrial development zone and rare earth research initiative will be established.
The overarching goal of the rare earth research initiative is to establish local markets, expand manufacturing capabilities, develop and expand technical expertise in the extraction and beneficiation of rare earths, develop new technologies that reduce and recycle associated waste streams and integrate local expertise with best practices.
Specific programs to be developed will address the following issues:
- Developing new mining extraction and beneficiation techniques to concentrate REE’s;
- Provide processing guidance to maximise output in the most energy efficient manner possible;
- Develop new methods to separate REE from concentrated ore into high purity oxides;
- Develop new techniques to reduce REE to metallic form;
- Develop new methods to allot the REE’s with other appropriate metals;
- Develop new methods to manufacture REE products (i.e. lasers, lenses and magnets);
- Develop educational opportunities and work force development through industry relevant projects;
- Develop green technologies to reduce environmental impact from mining and refinement;
- Develop new recycling techniques;
- Develop new methods to re-evaluate sites known to contain REE for cost effective mining potential.
The rare earth research initiative will also include collaboration with a network of global centres of excellence as it researches technologies that will use Jongju’s rare earths to improve and streamline current manufacturing process as well as developing new end user applications.
The research initiative has access to a large local pool of intellectual capital with many years of experience in emerging rare earth technologies that will help develop future breakthroughs.