Rare Earth Elements and Thorium

According to the various scientific research dating back at least 40 years, there are approximately 1,000,000 tons of Rare Earth Elements (REE) and approximately 350,000 tons of thorium (Th) around Eskişehir-Beylikova/Sivrihisar region of Turkey. Another conclusive ore deposit according to the mineralogic and hydrometallurgical studies is located around Burdur-Çanaklı region. This area accommodates 300,000 tons of REE and 17,000 tons of Th.

Under the current market conditions, these ore deposits can only be mined and processed via methods based on obtaining the REE. Because once each 15 element it contains has been separated, it becomes viable to obtain elements with high added value (i.e., Neodymium, Praseodymium, Europium, Samarium, Dysprosium, and Terbium), which can be utilized via precise and advanced technological devices. When REE’s have been separated from the ores, thorium, which always accompanies thereto, can be freed, and stored.

As it is expected to function as an important raw material to generate energy in the near future, Thorium should be harvested as a valuable by product of REE production.

FİGES has the knowledge on the processing and separating of both REE and Th ores found in Turkey, thus, the company has been invited to participate in:

  • A. The relevant workshops (Workshop on the Separation of Thorium and Rare Earth Elements, Ege University, Institute of Nuclear Sciences, May 10-11, 2018, Kuşadası, see SCIENTIFIC AN TECHNICAL ACTIVITIES) and
  • B. The Work Study on the Rare Earth Elements and Metals of Refractor Group (Department of Defense Industry, Sub-Study Group Meeting of REE-MRG, September 7, 2018, Ankara)

In the field of processing of REE and Th ores, FİGES will continue to work on plant modelling, and preparation of flow charts for the separation of REE.

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