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Rare earth project plant expected by month end, says energy minister

Published:Monday | October 21, 2013 | 6:45 PM

The Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell says the pilot plant for the rare earth project is expected to become operational by the end of this month.

The project entails the processing of the red mud by-product from bauxite mining activities, to extract rare earth elements.

These elements, which are vital in the manufacturing of smartphones, plasma screens, and numerous other high-tech products, have been found in significantly high concentrations in Jamaica’s red mud deposits.

Ground was broken for the pilot plant in early February 2013, and construction was completed last month.

The Ministry says commissioning of the pilot plant is now underway and should be completed by the end of October, when the full scale pilot will commence.

The total cost for the establishment of the pilot plant is approximately US$5 million.

Paulwell is expected to tour the plant on Wednesday.


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