American Resources Corp. has entered into exclusive patent and technology licensing agreements and sponsored research agreements with Penn State University and its Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering to implement Penn State’s intellectual property and technologies that separate and extract preconcentrate critical and rare earth minerals from the company’s carbon-based resources. American Resources will execute Penn State’s technologies and processes through a combination of utilizing mineral processing technologies at the company’s existing processing infrastructure and extraction from the company’s currently controlled acid mine drainage (or AMD) and coarse refuse sources.
American Resources will retrofit and enhance its existing carbon processing infrastructure, initially at its Perry County Resources subsidiary, by utilizing Penn State’s process circuitry design. The process circuitry enables selective segregation of pyritic material from its carbon waste created during the beneficiation process and will be then utilized in its critical and rare earth processing and stimulation process for producing high-value, rare earth elements and carbon enhancement. By utilizing the technology in the existing carbon processing plant, which Perry County Resources uses to refine its carbon production for the metallurgical markets, the company will have additional benefits to this process as it will result in a higher recovery and product quality while reducing the environmental footprint of a traditional carbon processing plant.
Once this process is proven to be successful at the Perry County Resources processing facility, the company said it will then systematically expand this technology at its other coal processing facilities.
In addition to the pyrite segregation process from Penn State, American Resources will use the exclusive patent pending process to redesign, extract and process the company’s various waste stream and coarse refuse sites to produce a concentrate of rare earth and critical elements. This will also result in an ancillary benefit of pulling forward the environmental remediation of long-term treatment sites, thereby accelerating the remediation of many of these sites.
The company started the first series of tests analyzing its raw coal production, settlement ponds, acid mine drainage sites, and processing technologies to determine the designs and specifications that will optimize specific mineral yield. The licensed technologies will be incorporated in American Rare Earth’s process chain to enable a low-cost extraction, processing and purification of rare earth oxides.