Rhodia and Tantalus sign LOI for technical co-operation and offtake from Madagascar rare earths projectNews release
Paris, France, Düsseldorf, Germany, April 23th, 2012 ----- Rhodia, member of the Solvay group, and Tantalus Rare Earths AG are pleased to announce the signing of a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) relating to technical cooperation for the development of an optimal process for generating rare earth concentrates from the large near surface Tantalus rare earth project in Madagascar and the exclusive supply of these rare earth products to Rhodia.
The Tantalus project is emerging as one of the largest clay hosted rare earth resources outside of China, with 130Mt of rare earth oxide (“REO”) bearing clays already identified from a small portion of the project area on the Ampasindava Peninsula in north-western Madagascar. Analysis of the Tantalus material has shown that approximately 20% of the REO's are in the valuable "heavy" category.
The LOI will be followed by a definitive Technical Cooperation Agreement and Offtake Agreement for up to 15,000 tonnes per annum of rare earth products from Tantalus.
Tantalus CEO Mr David Rigoll said: “After discussions with all of the major participants in the rare earths processing and supply sector, we are pleased to have agreed terms with the world’s number one producer of rare earth products Rhodia as our exclusive technical and marketing partner to assist in fast-tracking our Tantalus project to commercial production”.
Frederic Carencotte, Industrial Director for Rhodia Rare Earth Systems, added: “This agreement represents a further step in our sourcing diversification strategy. Composition and nature of this deposit, ie ionic clay, seems very promising for reliable and competitive access to heavy rare earths.”
Tantalus Rare Earth AG is listed on the open market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and owns 100% of the Tantalus Rare Earths Project.
Rhodia, member of the Solvay group, is a specialty chemical company resolutely committed to sustainable development. As a leader in its businesses, the Group aims to improve its customers’ performance through the pursuit of operational excellence and its ability to innovate. Structured around 11 Global Business Units, Rhodia is the partner of major players in the automotive, electronics, flavors and fragrances, health, personal and home care markets, consumer goods and industrial markets. Rhodia employs around 14 250 people worldwide and generated sales of €6.17 billion in 2011.