The Vancouver-based company wants to extract rare earths from monazite, a byproduct of heavy mineral sands mining.
On Tuesday, the group said it was seeking third party proposals to advance development of the extraction plant.
One proposal calls for evaluation of siting options in both the US and Canada, while another considers the development of the process engineering design for the flowsheet.
Both studies — on location and process engineering design — will be used in a formal economic study such as a preliminary economic assessment (PEA), the company noted.
"In the last two months, rare earths have been front and center due to the Chinese-US trade friction and their growing importance in the electrification of transportation, particularly EVs," said Don Lay, president and CEO at Medallion.
As a result, process of magnet metals like NdPr, have moved up over 25% during the period, added the company boss.
"We feel it is the right time to initiate the evaluation of plant sites for a commercial monazite processing plant as a key part of re-building a North American rare earth value chain."
Crack and leach plant
Among factors under consideration for the "crack and leach" plant's location are issues related to the transport of monazite sand feedstock, re-agents, produced products and waste material to and from potential project locations.
Regarding the process engineering, the current program of metallurgical test work at the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) and the research program at the University of Toronto will be completed shortly and reported on and provides important input to the process engineering design project.
Medallion wats to produce rare-earth magnet materials in North America through the processing of by-product monazite sand.
Monazite sand is rich in rare-earth elements neodymium and praseodymium (also known as "NdPr") which are critical input for lightweight and powerful rare-earth magnets. Rare-earth magnets are essential to automotive and robotics (electric motors), defense (missile guidance systems), and clean energy (wind turbines) industries.
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