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Canada,France : AVALON RARE METALS agreement moves close to GEISMAR plant.

Avalon Rare Metals' agreement with French chemical company Solvay moves the Toronto business closer to building a hydrometallurgical refinery in Geismar on property the company has already optioned.

Avalon signed a 10 year deal for Solvay to process rare earth concentrate into pure rare earth oxides at Solvay's plant in France. Solvay provides technical support for further design, engineering and commissioning of Avalon's hydrometallurgical processing plant in Geismar.

Avalon planned to build the refinery in Pine Point in Canada's Northwest Territories, where Avalon owns a large new source of the heavy rare earths to clean technology and high-tech applications. The Nechelado Deposit remains the most advanced potential new source of heavy rare earths outside of China.

Avalon announced Geismar as the proposed site of the $300 million facility. The plant, if built, would employ 175 people.

Avalon said Geismar's strategic advantages include access to road, marine and rail transportation.

The entire project will cost an estimated $1.6 billion. Heavy rare earths are expensive and complex to mine.

The metals make flat-screen displays, the coating that allows data storage on DVDs and CDs, the magnets used in electric and hybrid cars, microwave filters and to strengthen aluminum and magnesium alloys.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Mar 6, 2014
Words:213
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