Rainbow Rare Earths aims to be a forerunner in the establishment of an independent and ethical supply chain of the rare earth elements that are driving the green energy transition. It is doing this successfully via the identification and development of secondary rare earth deposits that can be brought into production quicker and at a lower cost than traditional hard rock mining projects, with a focus on the permanent magnet rare earth elements neodymium and praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium.
Rare earth permanent magnets are crucial inputs to the powering of electric vehicles, wind turbines as well as many other advanced technologies, such as drones, robots and smart phones.
The Company is focused on the development of the Phalaborwa Project in South Africa and the earlier stage Uberaba Project in Brazil. Both projects entail the recovery of rare earths from phosphogypsum stacks that occur as the by-product of phosphoric acid production, with the original source rock for both deposits being a hardrock carbonatite.
Rainbow will use a proprietary separation technique developed by and in conjunction with its partner K-Technologies, Inc., which uses continuous ion exchange and continuous ion chromatography to simplify the process of producing separated rare earth oxides (versus traditional solvent extraction), leading to cost and environmental benefits.
The Phalaborwa Preliminary Economic Assessment has confirmed strong base line economics for the project, which has a base case NPV10 of US$627 million, an average EBITDA operating margin of 75% and a payback period of < two years. Pilot plant operations commenced in 2023, with the project expected to reach commercial production in 2026, just five years after work began on the project by Rainbow.
Rainbow is also working together with OCP S.A. and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University to explore and develop the optimal technique for the extraction of rare earth elements from sedimentary-sourced phosphogypsum.
Rainbow is listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE: RBW).