Home » Rainbow, TechMet Ink Deal for Green Rare Earths Project

Rainbow, TechMet Ink Deal for Green Rare Earths Project

by Adenike Adeodun

Rainbow Rare Earths, listed on the London Stock Exchange, has just revealed its latest venture into the Phalaborwa project in South Africa, renowned for being one of the most cost-effective producers of separated rare earth oxides currently under development. On Wednesday, the company announced a significant investment option agreement with TechMet.

TechMet CEO Brian Menell, in a November 8 release to Mining Weekly, hailed the project as a pioneer in eco-friendly rare earth production. He comes from the influential Menell family and credits Rainbow’s advanced separation technology as a game-changer. This technology promises to speed up the production of four key rare earth elements crucial for electric vehicles and wind turbines.

The project is poised for consistent cash generation despite price changes in rare earths. TechMet’s investment option entails a $50 million equity stake, which could give it a 15% to 33% ownership stake in the project. This deal could raise the project’s worth to between $151.5 million and $333.3 million.

According to a report by Mining Weekly, George Bennett, Rainbow’s CEO, sees the TechMet deal as a vote of confidence in their strategy of sourcing rare earths secondarily. Given the metals’ significance in the tech and clean energy industries, he expects more U.S. investment.

Furthermore, the Phalaborwa project will recover rare earths from gypsum waste, aiding the net-zero goal by boosting clean energy supplies. They plan to process phosphogypsum stacks, byproducts from discontinued phosphoric acid production. Working with K-Technologies, Rainbow will convert these into high-purity rare earth oxides. This effort will address the site’s legacy environmental challenges and diminish the gypsum stacks, affirming Rainbow’s dedication to eco-responsibility.

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