National Engineering Research Center for Rare Earth Materials

Rare Earth Ore Decomposition and Treatment
The research on rare earth ore decomposition and treatment has been standing at leading status in the world. Professor Zhang Guocheng, the member of Chinese Academy of Engineering, and his colleagues have been engaged in Rare earth ore decomposition and treatment for all kinds of rare earth ores and concentrate since 1957. The excellent results have been achieved and transferred to productive force. Some of the achievements are listed below:

Sulphatizing Calcination-Solvent Extraction Process Treating Baotou Mixed-type Rare Earth Concentrate
The process realized the idea of direct production of rare earth chloride by solvent extraction. The rare earth recovery rate reaches to 80%, while the cost is reduced by 30%. The process realized the conversion from monazite to bastnasite at rare earth raw material in China. In 1982, a production line adopting the process was built up in Gansu rare earth Company. Its annual output was up to 6000 tons of rare earth chloride product. Due to advantage of the process, CREM won the State Invention Award (3rd class), the Ministerial Science & Technology Advance Award (1st class) and the Ministerial Science & Technology Application Award (2nd class).

Sulphatizing Calcination-Solvent Extraction with HDEHP Process Preparing Individual rare earth Compound

The process, which is called as "The Third Generation Acid Method", realized successful joint of "Ore Decomposition -Leaching -Solvent Extraction". The element Nd can be extracted and Nd-Sm can be grouped directly from leaching solution with the cheap extractant DEHPA. The original process is shortened and the product cost is reduced greatly. The process has been spread to large rare earth plants, including Baotou Rare Erath Metallurgical Plant, Gansu Rare Earth Company, Baotou Hefa Rare Earth Company, Xinguang Rare Earth plant, Rare Earth Hi-Te Group and so on. Especially in 1997, the process was applied to build up the largest product line of Rare EarthCl3 in Gansu Rare Earth Company. Its productive capacity is up to 18,000 tons of RECl3 annually. Now, About 10000 tons of Baotou rare earth concentrate is treated annually with this process in China. Due to the advantage of the process, CREM won the State Science & Technology Advance Award (3rd class), the Ministerial Science & Technology Advance Award (1st class) and the Excellent Patent Award.

Oxidizing Calcination-H2SO4 Leaching Method Processing Bastinasite

In 1960's, CREM developed Oxidizing Calcination -H2SO4 Leaching method to treat bastinasite. This method simplifies the process of decomposition of bastinasite. This method has been adopted widely to decompose bastinasite.
CREM has studied the method of treatment of bastnaesite in America and monazite ore in Mt. Weld in Australia. So far, good progress have been made.

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