Preliminary test work has proven that ore sorting has the potential to dramatically improve the economics of RareX’s Cummins Range rare earths and phosphate project.

Sighter ore sorting carried out on a composite sample collected from the primary zone of the deposit successfully retained 93% of the total rare earths mineralisation in the feed material while rejecting 48% of the material as waste.

This demonstrates the amenability of Cummins Range material to ore sorting and highlights the potential for RareX (ASX:REE) to be able to reduce the plant size and transport requirements from mine to the beneficiation plant while maintaining the REE product tonnage.

Managing director Jeremy Robinson said the result essentially doubles the feed grade of the project and drastically improves project economics.

“This is an exciting and very positive development, particularly given the rapidly growing scale of the Project with current drilling,” he added.

“We are looking forward to results from the next phase of primary flotation testwork, now underway.”

Ore sorting benefits

Ore sorting is applied to feedstock before it is fed to the beneficiation plant and has the potential to reduce operating costs and increase annual production by upping feed grade and in some cases extend mine life by enabling the processing of low-grade stockpiles.

For Cummins Range, the work was carried out by TOMRA Sorting Solution in New South Wales using its COM Tertiary XRT sorter.

This uses high-energy X-rays to differentiate particles by their atomic densities when the material is fed through the sorter in a single pass to sort into REE-bearing ore and waste material.

Further ore sorting test work will now be carried out at both the batch scale and larger scale to improve on the current results and optimise the ore sort circuit.

Other activity

RareX is poised to start further flotation test work to bulk float a combined rare earths and phosphate concentrate for subsequent separation along with magnetics.

Should this be successful, it will provide the company with more options in regards to which infrastructure components would be located at the mine site compared with the coast.

It has also reached an agreement for Baotou Mengrong Fine Material, an independent, world leading rare earth laboratory in China, to carry out testing regimes using commercially available and bespoke flotation reagents on both the regolith and fresh rock portions of the Cummins Range resource due to its similarity to the giant Bayan Obo deposit in China.




This article was developed in collaboration with RareX, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.