Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.’s (GWMG) wholly owned subsidiary Less Common Metals (LCM), located in Birkenhead, U.K., has been granted its environmental permit to carry out electrolytic production of rare earth metals at LCM’s new Hooton Park location.
The permit, issued by the United Kingdom Environment Agency, enables LCM to produce rare earth metals in accordance with the highest of national environmental, health and safety standards.
Ian Higgins, Managing Director, Metals and Alloys at LCM said, “The detailed design and production of the first two metal making cells, which have now been received by LCM, was carried out by a leading United Kingdom-based foundry technology company. The initial trials of the metal making system are scheduled to commence in May 2012. Our plan is to have six cells in full operation by the end of 2012 at a level of production that will fully supply the requirements for LCM’s recently commissioned strip casting furnace.”
Jim Engdahl, president and CEO of GWMG said, “The process of fused salt electrolysis of rare earth oxides to metals increases the existing metal and alloy making capability at LCM into bulk production of metals, principally for the permanent magnet alloy business. This represents one more step toward GWMG being the most fully integrated rare earth company in the world. That, in turn, translates into additional self-sufficiency for our production cycle and certainty of supply for GWMG’s global customers.”