Quest Rare Minerals Ltd. of Montreal has announced that it has obtained issuance of international patent (PCT/CA2016/051489) from the World Intellectual Property Organization, for the unique characteristics and capabilities of its eco-friendly “Selective Thermal Sulphation (STS)”1 process.
The published patent titled “Rare Earth Ore Processing Methods by Acid Mixing, Sulphating and Decomposing”, comprises of Quest’s complete rare earth processing methods for its Strange Lake Complex Deposit – from preparing mineral concentrate using one or more beneficiation methods to reduce the amount of ore processed and economically maximize the recovery of rare earth elements to producing a leach solution containing the rare earth elements (REE), that is substantially free of gangue elements.
The STS process developed by Quest Rare Minerals has been successfully tested and demonstrated at bench scale and has confirmed the ability to scale-up to commercial scale. Compared to alternative technologies, the superior efficiency of the STS process stems from the facts that it is (i) much simpler and less complex; (ii) it required fewer reagent and lower reagent dosages; (iii) rare earth elements are separated from major contaminants (i.e. Fe, Al, U); (iv) it minimizes process effluent and produces smaller quantities of inert residue; and (v) it entails low capital and operating costs.
Dirk Naumann, Quest Rare Minerals president, said, “It is of great value that Quest’s entire STS process is being granted protection by way of an international patent. The Strange Lake Complex deposit is quite unique and we have achieved a very high level of customization to efficiently and cost effectively produce high purity mixed rare earth metal oxides in an environmentally friendly manner.”