American Resources Corp. unveiled its wholly owned subsidiary, American Rare Earth LLC. Through its acquisition of multiple mining complexes over the past five years, the company said it established American Rare Earth to organize, consolidate, evaluate and develop its own portfolio of high-quality, low-cost rare earth mineral sites.
“The need for rare earth elements is a growing economic theme given the growing global demand from industries such as technology, automotive, aerospace and renewable energy,” American Resources Chairman and CEO Mark Jensen said. “With China accounting for approximately 80% of the global supply, restoring the United States’ resource independence has become an increasingly important topic.”
Jensen added that the company is excited about the discoveries that have been made at a number of the already-developed, beneficiation ponds to capture rare earth elements.
“The historical Rare Earth developments conducted by the University of Kentucky, with funding provided by a U.S. Department of Energy Cooperative Agreement, has been at the forefront of studying and producing nearly pure rare earth concentrates from coal sources using an environmentally conscious and cost-effective process, which is considered a groundbreaking accomplishment in the energy industry,” Jensen said. “We have been closely following the university’s groundbreaking work in rare earth elements and applaud them for their efforts and the public dissemination of information to benefit not only the environment but also the local community.
Through the company’s environmental efforts, American Rare Earth has identified and ranked its first 10 rare earth mineral beneficiation sites within the company’s owned asset base with the goal of building out its collection protocols. The 10 sites located in eastern Kentucky, within Pike, Letcher and Knott counties, have already been evaluated and are being engineered to recover and concentrate the REE’s. Additional sites are being evaluated in Floyd and Perry counties.
Upon analysis, it has been estimated that American Rare Earth’s initial site has the ability to produce rare earth oxides having a mix of approximately 20% neodymium, praseodymium and dysprosium, in addition to healthy levels of cobalt and lithium, all important elements used in the production of permanent magnets, widely used in electric vehicles (EVs) and other technologies.
As part of its targeted expansion plans, the company has been identifying various sites to build the first commercial scale rare earth processing facility in the Central Appalachia market. Site selection has been narrowed down to three locations. The facility will be able to process material from the initial 10 identified sites and for expansion-related purposes internally and as a consolidator of third-party materials in the region.
The workforce expansion could result in 15 near-term, permanent jobs created in the local community with the goal of ramping to approximately 120 jobs in the next few years, according to the company.