NEW YORK Avalon Rare
Metals Inc. has decided to build its planned $300-million heavy
rare earths separation plant and refinery in Geismar, a small
Louisiana town on the Mississippi River between New Orleans and
"Our team investigated over a
dozen sites and found that the Geismar site offered several
important advantages, including proximity to producers of the
chemicals needed in the process, excellent transportation
infrastructure, a well-trained work force and a favorable
business environment," president and chief executive officer
Don Bubar said in a statement.
The facility will have the
capacity to produce 10,000 tonnes of rare earths oxide from a
mixed rare earths concentrate mined at Avalons Nechalacho
deposit in Canadas Northwest Territories, and the
150-acre property also will allow for an expansion to treat
third-party concentrate or accommodate an expansion at
Nechalacho, according to the company.
Toronto-based Avalon said that a
definitive feasibility study is set to be completed in the
second quarter of 2013, after which project financing will be
finalized and construction will begin in 2015.
The facility will employ at
least 175 people when operational, the company said.