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Project title

Extraction of Rare Earth Elements (REE) from Sub-Economic Ores and Process Tailings

Host university

Curtin University

Supervisors: Associate Professor Laurence Dyer, Dr Richard Alorro and Dr Bogale Tadesse

Benefit to Western Australia

REEs are critical and strategic elements used in everyday life. Demand for REEs is forecast to exceed supply by 2030. With substantial low-grade REE deposits in Western Australia, the proposed technology will deliver economic benefits by providing increased job opportunities and generating substantial export revenue.

This research uses principles of green chemistry (using organic acids and deep eutectic solvents as leaching reagents) and circular economy (reusing and recycling industrial wastes) for extracting REEs. This minimises the environmental impact and aligns with Western Australia’s commitment to sustainable mining practices.

The extraction of REEs from low-grade ores and secondary sources increases the supply of these materials. This will increase Western Australia’s competitiveness and capacity to continue as a major REE supplier to global markets in the future.

Page was last reviewed 6 May 2024

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