REE Processing Technologies and Services

Technoeconomic Evaluation of Rare Earth Processing Technologies

SRC has decades of experience in technoeconomic evaluation of rare earth technologies related to beneficiation, hydrometallurgy, separation and metal smelting. We offer a stage-gated, fast-to-fail approach and bench and pilot-scale platform for technology and process testing.

SRC is committed to establishing an REE supply chain from minerals to magnets in Saskatchewan.

Pilot-Scale Studies

Solvent Extraction

SRC has built a small-scale separation pilot plant that has 150 stages of mixers and settlers (each stage capacity of ~1 litre) and can be configured to different separation processes for either group separation or individual REE separation. Products with +99.9 per cent purity have been produced from the pilot plant. It can be further upgraded to higher purity with an increased number of stages. SRC has also built a commercial-scale Solvent Extraction Unit that has six stages of mixers and settlers (each stage has a capacity of ~1,200 litres) and is used to improve the impeller design, process control, and mixing and separation efficiencies. These cells are designed for a 1,500 tonnes per year separation plant. SRC can design, fabricate and install solvent extraction cells at any commercial scale and conduct solvent extraction performance testing and optimization.

Metal Smelting

SRC offers an industrial-scale rare earth metal smelting pilot plant. The electrolytic furnace, with Tungsten cathode and graphite anode, has a capacity of ~43 tonnes per year and operates up to 4,000 Amps and 15 Volts. This pilot is used to refine the operating parameters, process sequence and operating procedures to yield the highest rare earth metal recovery and purity. The unit is also used to train the operational staff and as a platform to conduct research and development for automation of the metal smelting process.

REE Plant Operation Improvement and Support

SRC can provide experienced engineers and technologists who have a broad knowledge of REE process plant development and specification to support plant operations with an objective to achieve business benefits, such as reducing production costs, improving quality and increasing throughput.

We can provide support in developing pre- and post-commissioning procedures, safe work practices and standard operating procedures, dry and wet commissioning, plant inspection and operations, operation improvements, quality management, analytical testing, and process safety.

Turnkey Services for Commercial-Scale Rare Earth Processing Facilities

SRC has a diverse team of mechanical and electrical engineers, as well as in-house fabrication capabilities with experience in engineering and designing processes, tools, instrumentation, and equipment relevant to rare earth upstream, midstream and downstream processing facilities. SRC works closely with the local construction industry to deliver turnkey services for beneficiation, hydrometallurgy, solvent extraction and metal smelting processing.

Turnkey Package Execution Workflow

Project Definition Testwork, Process Design Criteria, Mass and Energy Balance, Equipment Sizing and Cost Estimates  
Permitting and Licensing Environmental, Construction and Operational Permits  
Engineering and Procurement Detailed Equipment Specifications, Construction and Foundation Drawings, Vendor Selection and Award  
Fabrication and Installation Fabrication and Delivery of Equipment, Foundation, Platform and Equipment Installation  
Commissioning and Close-Out Operational Readiness, Pre-Operational Testing, Dry and Wet Commissioning, Turnkey Handover  

Mineral Processing

SRC's Mineral Processing team provides leading-edge research, development and demonstration services for a variety of commodities and mineral processing technologies. SRC's team of engineers and scientists have extensive experience and know-how in all aspects of REE process testing and development.

Mineral Analysis: Geochemistry and Minerology

SRC is Saskatchewan’s most advanced and complete mineral analysis centre supporting resource industries through its Geoanalytical Laboratories and Advanced Microanalysis CentreTM. We have the necessary analytical tools, expertise and experience to provide you with a wide range of services and analytical packages, all available from one location.

Our labs and experts are focused on providing leading-edge research, development and demonstration, as well as analytical services to support companies, consultants, researchers and governments with mineral exploration, mineral processing, tailings management and reclamation and mine closure. We have specialized expertise in mineralogical characterization for sensor-based sorting technologies, which are becoming more important in REE projects.

Environmental Permitting

We work with our clients to develop detailed tailings management, environment emission control and operational planning to support the environmental permitting and licensing process.


Contact us to learn more about the services SRC offers.