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So here’s a pesky thought

Lithium often comes from spodumene. Spod is also often enough a source for tantalum. Spod gets processed in great factories in China. Not all spod mines bother to extract the tantalite. But those vast waste streams in China from the spod concentrate processors – how much Ta is in there? And Nb, Sc and a couple of others too – quite possibly Sn and REs and Cs.

Not something I’m going to do but just that pesky thought. How good would the waste streams from spodumene concentrate processors be as ores?

9 thoughts on “So here’s a pesky thought”

  1. I need to get some glasses – I thought I read ‘Spud is also often enough a source for Tantalum’ – Murphy being found to be useful? an Historic moment. Then I reread the post…

  2. Those waste streams seem pretty good at killing off the surrounding wildlife so I suppose there’s likely some value there.

  3. So glad it wasn’t just me. I read SPUDomene and thought a new, toxic, volatile element had been discovered and named after RM.

  4. Ducky.. Probably because there’s no Market for the stuff?

    Like our hosts regularly reminds us when it comes to metals: if the existing production of [X] already satisfies the market, you either need something really cheap/”obvious”/special, or a major change in demand to make a profitable business case.

    The chinese may be many things, but they’re not exactly known to miss/ignore business opportunities…

  5. No market… then why would OGH be asking the question? Given the metals involved, including Nb, then the apparent change in demand is for batteries, magnets, etc, etc.

    The little yellow devils are supposedly interested in deposits within Afghanistan, yet OGH queries the viability of existing waste streams within China.

    Umm, what are the economics here?

  6. Found this:

    Seems that the market is mostly capacitors, with some other electronics thrown in, followed by highly specialised alloy manufacturing.
    And there’s the bit where it’s really not about getting the pure metal itself, but rather specific forms of it for specific purposes.

    As for OGH .. if ’twere a clear case of waste being ore, he’d probably be involved already in some capacity.. 😉
    As it is… Most likely one of those edge cases that might work.. if.. and if.. and if…
    Mind… that’d still mean operating in the Land Within the Wall ( since that is where the waste is..) which has its own ..challenges..

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