On 4 July 2019, Veliky Novgorod-based Acron held an extended meeting on promoting the development of the rare-earth metal industry in Russia. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, members of Russian research centres, and managers of 30 producers and consumers of REE.
During the meeting, Acron reported on its performance of a government contract that is part of a project to develop industrial technologies for recovering REE concentrate at existing apatite concentrate processing facilities. Acron Group has completed the project to derive the rare earth elements cerium, lanthanum, neodymium, and light and heavy REE group concentrates from its apatite concentrate process streams. The project was praised by the field committee chaired by Sergei Grishaev, Head of the Department of Development of Non-ferrous Metal Industry, and Rare and Rare-Earth Industry of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Chairman of Acron’s Board of Directors Alexander Popov noted: “We have managed to establish full-cycle REE production, from mining and processing of raw materials to commercial output of rare-earth products. Our high-tech and flexible production line is aimed at providing Russia with its own rare-earth products”.
The launch of REE production at the Group’s site in Veliky Novgorod in 2016 was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The REE unit has the capacity for 200 tonnes per annum of REE oxides. The Group has invested a total of approximately USD 50 million in the project to process apatite-nepheline ore comprehensively and derive the rare earth elements cerium, lanthanum, neodymium, and light and heavy REE group concentrates from its apatite concentrate process streams. Apatite concentrate from the Oleniy Ruchey mine in Murmansk region provides the feedstock base for the process. The technology used by the Group ensures high extraction efficiency of up to 99% of REE. The project was implemented by the Acron Scientific Centre in cooperation with leading Russian research centres.