TMR Awarded $1.2M US Department of Defense Project for the Evaluation of New Processes and Sources for the US Rare Earth Supply Chain

by Admin on June 4, 2014 · 10 comments

in In The Media, Rare Earths, USA

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CARPENTERSVILLE, IL – June 4, 2014 – A team led by Technology Metals Research, LLC (TMR) has been awarded $1.2M in funding from the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL), part of the US Department of Defense (DOD), via a subaward agreement with Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

The project, involving a dozen companies and research institutions in the United States, Canada and Australia, will focus on the development of the key components for a domestic rare-earth supply chain, for heavy and other critical rare-earth elements (REEs).

REEs are vital ingredients in many high-tech components used in defense, industrial and green-energy applications. In recent years the REE sector has been dominated by China, which provides approximately 90% of global supply. The heavy REEs dysprosium and yttrium were recently mandated for inclusion in the DOD’s National Defense Stockpile, despite not presently being produced in the USA, from US-based sources.

Project partners include Innovation Metals Corp. (IMC) and researchers at Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of South Australia and the ARL itself. A number of ‘stealth-mode’ companies and researchers with promising new technologies will also participate in the program.

“As well as validating IMC’s process-flow diagrams for the bulk solvent extraction of heavy and critical REEs,” said Gareth Hatch, co-founder of TMR, President of IMC and the Principal Investigator for the 12-month program, “this award from the ARL will allow the team to evaluate new process technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the speed and efficiency of REE extraction and separation. These are exciting, materials-science-based approaches that have not been seen by the rare-earth sector before.”

In addition to process development and validation, TMR will work with leading REE geologists and mineralogists to characterize promising sources of critical REEs in the continental United States, beyond those currently being commercialized. The company will also look at the development and validation of computer simulation tools, for the accurate modeling and rapid optimization of existing and new REE separation processes.

“We’re very interested in the possibilities that the TMR-led project will bring to the rare-earth supply chain,” commented Dan McGroarty, President of the Washington, D.C.-based American Resources Policy Network. “The program has the potential to advance the development of a robust domestic production capability for critical REEs that is ultimately accessible to the DOD, the defense supply chain and beyond. The program activities constitute a unique, vertical approach – across every point on the supply chain from the supply to demand-side, from extraction through separation to end-users – addressing the issue of U.S. dependence on foreign-controlled entities for critical REE processing and production.”

“Private capital has made extraordinary investments in the rare-earth supply chain over the past few years,” added Jeff Green, Executive Director of the Strategic Materials Advisory Council (SMAC), “but absolutely critical gaps in the US supply chain remain — gaps that would seriously undermine the defense industrial base and essential civilian programs during a peacetime supply disruption or contingency scenario.” Mr. Green continued, “The fact that the ARL is pursuing this project with industry leaders like TMR shows exactly how serious they are about this issue. It is a most welcome first step in re-shoring the current state-of-the-art while fostering the next generation of rare-earth innovators in the United States. The SMAC is proud of the efforts by Council Member Dr. Hatch and applauds the Army and the DOD for its leadership.”

In addition to coordinating the existing program activities, TMR remains open to looking at additional processes and to collaborations with other groups, which could contribute to the overall objectives of the project.

About Technology Metals Research, LLC
Technology Metals Research, LLC (TMR) is an independent market-intelligence and analysis firm, focused on rare earths and other critical and strategic materials. TMR provides research management, due-diligence assistance, and other advisory services to public and private companies, institutional investors, government agencies and other market-intelligence firms.

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains statements that may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable United States laws. Forward-looking statements may include statements regarding the future plans, objectives or performance of Technology Metals Research, LLC (“TMR”), or the assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. In this news release, words such as “may”, “could”, “would”, “will”, “likely”, “expect”, “intend”, “plan”, “goal”, “estimate” and similar words and the negative forms thereof are used to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors beyond TMR’s control, and which may cause the actual results, activity or performance of TMR to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

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1 Randy M June 4, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Congratulations guys! Been following for a number of years and this is a well earned kudos.

2 Tim Ainsworth June 4, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Great effort Gareth, wish you & IMC every success.

3 Jim Bond June 5, 2014 at 4:38 PM


4 Wayne Daily June 6, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Congratulations on completing a very difficult task. Our country now has a scientific path to help avert future problems of not having the strategic and RE metals. Thank you IMC and all their team.

5 Veritas Bob June 10, 2014 at 12:13 AM

“The company will also look at the development and validation of computer simulation tools, for the accurate modeling and rapid optimization of existing and new REE separation processes.”

If you can model it, I can (stochastically) nonlinearly optimize it.

6 Gladys June 11, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Hi, Well done, I am sure in a year time we will congratulate you again for results obtained in this program

7 MICHAEL June 15, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Garth,happy to here program is going on.KUDOS FROM OREagain.

8 Russ July 19, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Two thumbs gents.. well done and well deserved.

9 Larry K. September 28, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Yttrium was listed in the test results done of my ore does anyone know how much of it per ton is worth mining?

10 Larry K. September 28, 2014 at 4:50 PM

There is combined between 3-4 pounds of Rare Earth Minerals per ton which have been identified in our ore but is that even enough worth mining and who would you sell your concentrate too? Cobalt Yes (13oz), Uranium Yes (1oz), Silver Yes, Cadmium Yes (1oz), Yttrium yes (1oz), Bismuth yes (1oz), Gold yes (5oz), Selenium yes (1oz), Zirconium yes (13oz), Palladium yes identified in scan, Platinum yes identified in scan, Gallium yes (1oz), Rhodium Yes Identified in scan, Tantalum yes (1oz), Thorium Yes (1oz).

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