Rare Earth Treatment Plant

Proposal description: 

The proposal is to establish a Rare Earth Treatment Plant at Pinjarra in Western Australia.

The proposal has two stages. The first stage would treat the monazite with caustic to produce a solid containing rare earth hydroxides and a calcium phosphate waste. The second stage would treat the solid containing the rare earth hydroxide to produce rare earth salts, thorium waste and the ammonium nitrate waste.

Note: Upon consideration of this proposal the Environmental Protection Authority concluded that Stage One is environmentally acceptable and that Stage Two is not environmentally acceptable.

Consequently, Rhone-Poulenc developed a revised strategy for the management of the waste by-product (principally ammonium nitrate). Although an ERMP was prepared for the revised strategy, Rhone-Poulenc withdrew their proposal in 1990 hence the EPA was not required to give advice to Government.

Assessment Number: 
Referred under EP Act: 
Industry sector: 
Last updated: 
September 30, 1988
Current Status: 
Proposal withdrawn
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