ABx at IMARC: how grade and metallurgy reign supreme in rare earths

ABx Group (ASX:ABX) continues to position itself as a high-tech listed Australian company focused on delivering materials for a cleaner future.

As the first company to discover rare earths in Tasmania, ABx is uniquely positioned for growth with a focus on 3 significant businesses — the creation of an Ionic Adsorption Clay (IAC) rare earths project in northern Tasmania; the establishment of a plant to produce hydrogen fluoride and aluminium fluoride from recycled industrial waste via its 83% owned subsidiary ALCORE; and mining and enhancing the value of bauxite resources for cement, aluminium, and fertilisers.

Managing Director and CEO Dr Mark Cooksey tells this news service at the upcoming International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) held in Sydney from 31 October to 2 November 2023, he will predominantly be presenting about the company’s REEs exposure due to time restrictions.

Speaking ahead of the conference, of which Mining.com.au is an official media partner, Cooksey notes there is a potential update regarding ALCORE ahead of the event, which will showcase 500-plus mining leaders and resource experts throughout 7 concurrent conferences.

Last month, this news service reported the arrival and installation of a bath pilot batch reactor at ABx’s 83% owned subsidiary ALCORE’s Technology Centre located on the New South Wales Central Coast.

The reactor employs ‘state-of-the-art technology’ to enhance process mixing, which is critical to achieving a high fluorine yield, and features a processing capacity 10 times larger than the previous bath laboratory reactor. 

However, at IMARC Cooksey says he plans to use his time presenting to reiterate recent record high assay results where ABx recorded 17,333 parts per million Total Rare Earth Oxides (TREO) from a drillhole within its Deep Leads-Rubble Mound Project area — 4 times higher than its previous top result.

The area was deliberately targeted, and the MD notes he will flag to IMARC how an analysis of the flowsheet, costs, and overall market indicates that the most critical factors for such deposits are grade and metallurgy.

“Resource size is less important, because the rare earth market is small

“Resource size is less important, because the rare earth market is small.”

Cooksey could also touch on how a 5-year supply agreement signed with Adelaide Brighton Cement – a subsidiary of Adbri (ASX:ABC) – for 90,000-120,000 tonnes of bauxite from ABx’s DL130 Project will provide useful cashflow for the company.

IMARC now features 7 concurrent conferences covering the entire mining value chain with more than 340 technical talks, panel discussions, and strategic keynote presentations taking place throughout the 3 days. Attendees have an opportunity to gain strategic insights from C-suite executives on progressing ESG and environmental resilience, accelerating mining’s energy transition, and the digitisation of mines.

Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au

Images: ABx 

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Written By Adam Orlando
Mining.com.au Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.