General Atomics to build REE plant that will source material from Bear Lodge
General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced that it has finalized negotiations with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office for facility design and engineering in preparation for the construction and operation of a Rare Earth Element (REE) Separation and Processing Demonstration Plant.
Once completed, the demonstration plant will enable the separation and purification of rare earth oxides derived from ore removed from RER’s Bear Lodge deposit in Wyoming.
GA-EMS said in a statement that it will work with GA Europe’s Umwelt-und-Ingenieurtechnik GmbH (UIT), Rare Element Resources, Ltd. (RER), and LNV, an Ardurra Group, Inc. company to begin the 40-month project to design, build and operate the REE separation and processing demonstration facility in Wyoming.
“We are looking forward to getting underway with the team to bring this demonstration project to life,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “REEs are critical to a wide range of technologies supporting both commercial and defense-related applications, including electric vehicles, solar panels, fiber optics, and high-strength permanent magnets. This project will provide valuable information regarding the development of domestic rare earth element resources and separation technologies that have the potential to improve REE supply and availability to meet growing demand.”
The DOE announced earlier this year it had selected GA-EMS for negotiation of a financial award for the project. The recent confirmation of the financial award allows the GA-EMS team to begin design and engineering work in preparation for facility construction and plant operation. Once completed, the demonstration plant will enable the separation and purification of rare earth oxides derived from ore removed from RER’s Bear Lodge deposit in Wyoming. The project’s primary goal is to demonstrate REE separation and processing at a scale sufficient to provide data and metrics predictive of cost and performance for a follow-on commercial-scale separation and processing facility.
General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) Group is a global leader in the research, design, and manufacture of first-of-a-kind electromagnetic and electric power generation systems. GA-EMS’ history of research, development, and technology innovation has led to an expanding portfolio of specialized products and integrated system solutions supporting aviation, space systems and satellites, missile defense, power and energy, and processing and monitoring applications for critical defense, industrial, and commercial customers worldwide.
The Bear Lodge Project is positioned to be the next North American source of rare earth minerals. The quantity and quality of the resource at Bear Lodge make it a world-class mining district and a dependable, long-term source for the rare earths the world demands.
The project is rich in “critical rare earths” (CREE), those elements that are less common, higher valued and expected to experience better demand growth and price support over the long term. It is situated in one of the best mining districts in the world. The mine site is ideally located in northeastern Wyoming, just off of I-90, and has easy access to power and supporting infrastructure. The processing facility will be located nearby, in the town of Upton, in an establish industrial area. Both communities contain a ready workforce, skilled in natural resource development.