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Two Americas-based rare earth projects, two novel approaches

Kitco News

USA Rare Earth said today that production at its Round Top Mountain project will be powered by 100% renewable energy.

The U.S. government has thrown its support behind securing guaranteed supplies of rare earth. Currently China is the world's largest producer and exporter of rare earths.

At its Round Top Mountain, USA Rare Earths said the project contains 13 of the 35 minerals deemed “critical” by the Department of the Interior, and the company now said it has a way to power a future mine.

"West Texas is widely recognized as one of the best places in the world for solar power. Hudspeth County reports 292 days of sunshine a year with annual average sunshine of approximately 10 hours per day," writes the company.

"USA Rare Earth estimates it will require approximately 15 MW to support mining and processing, which it estimates will require a solar farm of approximately 45 acres. This could increase if the Company decides to relocate its sintered neo magnet manufacturing facility and associated infrastructure to the Round Top Mountain site."

The company said it has a PEA showing an internal rate of return of 70% and average annual net revenues of $395 million a year after average royalties of $26 million a year payable to the State of Texas.

In Northwest Territories, Cabin Radio reported on Vital Metals, ;which runs a rare-earth minerals project east of Yellowknife.

Vital is creating a small demonstration plant, a $3.7 million ore sorting plant situated ina 40-foot long shipping container. Processing is set for the fall.

The original plan for the site called for a $1.5 billion open pit mine, which couldn't be supported by rare earth prices.

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