REEBAUX: Prospects of REE recovery from bauxite and bauxite residue

Rare earth elements (REE) are import critical raw material in a large number of modern industrial applications but almost exclusively extracted out of Euope, thus leaving the continent completely dependent on imports. Europe‐based REE production shall cover a significant amount of the domestic need and reduce business hazard due to a volatile world market. Bauxite and bauxite residue have been for a long time considered a viable resource of REE. With a large number of bauxite deposits in the ESEE region and a long tradition of aluminum processing industry, which has left also a significant amount of bauxite residue behind, there is a respectable perspective for development of a new REE resource for Europe once geological, mining and technological aspect are well elaborated. The project focuses on extensive data collection on bauxite deposits and bauxite residue accumulations in the ESEE region and their REE abunduces in light of future prospects for REE production to improve European REE supply. Also targeting an increase of innovation capacity in regional bauxite resources management for future developments in REE production, the project constortium will involve students in the execution of the project tasks, and offer several educational events for students and professionals from R&D and industrial sector.

Project objective and scope:

Utilization of bauxite and bauxite residue in the production and recovery of REE for an inadequate domestic supply in the European market is a general scope of the project. The objectives are:
1. Collecting and evaluating available data on bauxite deposits and bauxite residue accumulations in the ESEE region and on the respective REE concentrations.
2. Defining perspectives and strategies for a viable REE production from bauxite primary and secondary resources, including strategies for utilization of bauxite residue after REE recovery in a view of zero‐waste management.
3. Boosting regional innovation capacity in bauxite prospecting and its utilization for CRM production by inclusion of students from the partner institutions in accomplishment of the defined project task and offering in‐house training in the project‐related topics for students and professionals.


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