We were delighted to have Angela Svonavec, President of Heritage Coal and Natural Resources, with us to share more about rare earth element recovery and her new company, Epic Element Recovery, LLC.
Epic’s patent-pending process, enhances and enriches the concentration of Rare Earth Elements and Critical Materials in Acid Mine Drainage (or AMD), a ubiquitous resource in Appalachia. The process uses a combination of physical and chemical processes to first remove and then concentrate the dissolved metals in the AMD into a much smaller volume (i.e. a pregnant liquor solution), then enrich those metals via a leaching process from any metal-bearing rock feedstock (i.e. hard rock ore), but more importantly from refuse produced from a coal processing/preparation plant.
The patent-pending multi-stage process includes ionic separation, a heap-leach and then metals extraction. It was an informative and interesting presentation and we look forward to seeing how this project may help inspire the launch of a new industry in our region.