France’s Rhodia and Tantalus to work together on rare earth project

23 April 2012 13:43  [Source: ICIS news]

Rhodia headquartersLONDON (ICIS)--Rhodia has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Tantalus to generate rare earth concentrates in Madagascar, the France-based specialty chemical company said on Monday.

Rhodia said the LOI covers technical cooperation for the development of an optimal process for producing rare earth concentrates from Germany-based Tantalus’s project in Madagascar.

Rhodia added that Tantalus will provide it with an exclusive supply of rare earth products.

Rhodia said the Madagascar project is emerging as one of the largest clay hosted rare earth resources outside China, with 130 tonnes of rare earth oxide-bearing clays already identified from a small portion of the project area on the Ampasindava Peninsula.

The LOI will be followed by a definitive technical cooperation agreement and offtake agreement for up to 15,000 tonnes/year of rare earth products from Tantalus.

“After discussions with all of the major participants in the rare earths processing and supply sector, we are pleased to have agreed terms with the world’s number one producer of rare earth products, Rhodia, as our exclusive technical and marketing partner to assist in fast-tracking our Tantalus project to commercial production,” said Tantalus CEO David Rigoll.

“This agreement represents a further step in our sourcing diversification strategy. [The] Composition and nature of this deposit, ie, ionic clay, seems very promising for reliable and competitive access to heavy rare earths,” added Frederic Carencotte, industrial director for Rhodia Rare Earth Systems.

Financial details were not disclosed.

By: Leigh Stringer
+44 208 652 3214

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