Minister Williams: “Rare Earth industry would give Chile the opportunity to diversify its mineral supply”

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IMAGE Ministry of Mining in Flickr
Public-Private chinese delegation visits Minera BioLantanidos Pilot Plant
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Minister Williams: “Rare Earth industry would give Chile the opportunity to diversify its mineral supply”

IMAGE Ministry of Mining in Flickr

IMAGE Ministry of Mining in Flickr

IMAGE: Ministry of Mining on Twitter

The Minister of Mining, Aurora Williams, received a delegation of the Ministry of Industry and Technology of China, along with executives of Minera BioLantanidos, to analyze the achievements and challenges of the lanthanides industry in Chile, commonly known as “Rare Earth”.  

On the occasion, the Secretary of State pointed out that “the establishment of the rare earth industry, would give Chile the opportunity to diversify their export supply, position it as a competitive market and attract new innovations and effective investment”.

Meanwhile, the public-private chinese delegation expressed interest in investing in this industry, taking into account that China has the world’s largest demand for this mineral. They also indicated a willingness to discuss the technology involved in the Bío Bío Region, developed in conjunction with the University of Concepción and BioLantanidos company, for exploration and exploitation of rare earth.   

It should be noted that the development of this industry nationwide has been associated 100% R & D. So far they developed four patents related to this matter, including a unique extraction process in the world that seeks to improve existing methodologies in China both in efficiency and in harmony with the environment.

Rare Earth

Rare Earth correspond to a set of soft metal that have been detected in a few parts of the world, and are currently used in technology. Rare Earth is the common name given to a group of 17 elements that have particular properties in the periodic table. Its main uses are varied, currently related to modern technologies, such as magnets for computers, halogen lamps, MRI equipment, screens for televisions, steel alloys, among others.

Virtually all electronic items contain this unique mineral: LCD, computers, smartphones, optical fiber amplifiers and aviation technology, among others. 

In Chile, in the district of Penco (Bío Bío Region), they found a vein of Rare Earth. The company BioLantanidos is already doing exploration and expects to produce in the area more than 2,000 tons of this material per year. The installation of the first commercial plant, which should be launched next year, is currently under environmentall evaluation. 

Along with the financial support of Mineria Activa, this fund has a credit line from the Production Development Corporation of Chile (Corfo) to be the first to develop the lanthanides industry in the country.

SOURCE: Ministry of Mining | Press Release