Rare earth: Russia wants to make China competition

17. October 2014 Darja Cases, RBTH

Russia urges on the market for the world's coveted rare earth metals. So far, there still dominate the Chinese. A developed at the Ural Federal University, unique mining technology could help, to change the.

Scientists of the Ural Federal University have developed a sorbent, which allows the extraction of metals of the rare earths from uranium mines. The new technology will be tested within the next three years. The researchers assume, that the import demand for rare earth metals could be reduced in the Russian market with their new development by nearly a third.

Today, China controls 97 Percent of all deliveries to the rare earth metals. Often, the People's Republic was suspected, exploit the monopoly and to manipulate prices. Of the world's mined annually 120 000 Tons of rare earth metals come about only 100 Tons from Russia - once the Soviet Union was in this field world leader. The new technology will allow, production in the next few years on a year 1 000 To increase tonnes.

The pro-rector of the Ural Federal University, Sergei Kortow, is sure, that the new technology will play a very important role in the current debate on import substitution, both in terms of raw materials and the finished products. Moreover, as could a price stabilization on the world market are achieved. "Economically, it is worthwhile for Russia, Reduce rare earth metals themselves again - so the prices of the final products do not rise”, Kortow says in an interview with RBTH. Yet there is no corresponding production in Russia, However, the rare earth metals would be needed in many areas,, so Kortow.

For the testing of new technology, the Russian government researchers Ural Federal University 6,2 Million € available. More 7,4 Million euros, the Moscow company

ZAO Energetitscheskie Projekty, cooperating with the University.

The project is a collaborative effort of several Russian universities and research institutions, involved besides the Ural Federal University and the Frumkin Istitut of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a project institute in the city Oserske. The production will take place mainly in the works of the Russian state nuclear company Rosatom, in ZAO Dalur area Kurgansk and in the OAO Chiagda in Buryatia. Also Sverdlovsk is a production site in conversation. Researchers hope, develop the complicated technology, so that they can also be used in industry. It is intended not only for the extraction of rare earth metals, but also for the production of the whole range of its concentrates in the form of oxides and compositions, Metals, Alloys, Allocations and finished products.

Rare earth metals are in high demand worldwide

The newly developed method for the degradation of rare earth metals, sulfuric acid is pumped into the ground, the uranium and rare earth metals solves. In a special processing, the individual substances are separated. The revolutionary thing about this development is the sorbent, the uranium, Can absorb rare earth metals and scandium, impact on the quality of the uranium without. This sorbent is unique in the world.

The inventors of this new technology at the Physikalisch-Technische Institute Ural Federal University research has long been new developments in this area. Vladimir Rytschkow, Head of the research group, explained, that interest in the mining of rare earth metals in Russia for a long time was low, hardly anyone took note of the work of researchers. But now the time has come, The researchers have developed a technology of the future, he says. He hopes, that the new technology will help, the efficiency of the processing.

to increase the precursors of the uranium mines and import substitution in rare earth metals and scandium for the defense industry, the radio electronics, the Instrument, nuclear technology, Mechanical Engineering, the chemical industry and metallurgy contributes. "The product range, we want to offer, is very large. It includes metals, Oxide, Phosphorus, Magnets, Polish, Tubes and more”, so Rytschkow.

Many companies have already indicated interest. The Russian defense industry sees an opportunity, to become less dependent on China as a supplier of rare earth metals, but also of Western European electronics manufacturers. Rosatom has, according to the Ural Federal University also expressed interest in the industrial use of the new technology. Also requests come from Western Europe. It is particularly in demand neodymium, which is used in the electronics industry and in mechanical engineering.

This entry was posted in Rare earth, Rare earths General, Rare earth and the research, Rare earth and the economy, Strategic Metals and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.