Turkey has, at least 40 years known, 1.000.000 tons of Rare Earth Elements (REE) and also has around 350.000 tons of thorium (Th) reserves at Eskisehir-Beylikova/Sivrihisar region, on which various scientific studies have been carried out. Another indicated ore deposit with mineralogical and hydrometallurgical investigations is in Burdur-Çanaklı region. There are also 300.000 tons of REEs and 17.000 tons of Th.
In today’s market conditions, these ore deposits can only be processed by methods based on the acquisition of REEs. Because when the 15 elements are separated one by one, elements with very high added value (Neodymium, Praseodymium, Europium, Samarium, Dysprosium, Terbium, etc.) can be obtained and they can be used in sensitive and advanced technological devices. When the REEs are separated from their ores, thorium, which is almost always together, will be separated and stored. Thorium should be stored as a valuable by-product of the REE production since it will be used as a very important energy feedstock in the Molten Salt Reactors in the near future.
FIGES has the knowledge of processing and the separation techniques of both REE and Th ore deposits in Turkey. Because of that, is invited to contribute to the following activities:
A. Workshop on Separation of Thorium and Rare Earth Elements, Ege University Institute of Nuclear Sciences, 10-11 May 2018, Kuşadası, (see SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES) and,
B. Rare Earth Elements and Refractory Group Metals Working Group (Defense Industry Presidency, REE-RGM Sub-Working Groups meeting, 7 September 2018, Ankara)
FIGES will continue to work in the fields of REEs and Th ore processing, plant modeling and flow diagram preparation for the separation of REEs.