Alan embarked on his waste management journey in mainland China about 20 years ago. The severe impact of the rare earth industry on the environment is painfully clear. Many rare earth waste and tailings are awaiting for environmental treatment. He is therefore determined to apply his waste management technology and experience into this field.
What Problems are We Facing?
China is the world's largest producer of REEs, accounting for almost 60% of global annual production, estimated at 140,000 tonnes for 2020. However, the process of mining, separating and purifying rare earth elements is not only highly labour intensive but can also, if not managed well, have adverse health effects and cause lasting impact on the natural environment. Since then, stricter environmental governance on rare earth industry has been imposed and a series of new policies and measures have been adopted to urge the development of greener rare earth production to protect the ecological environment.
APM focuses on greener technologies to enhance rare earth production, provide wastewater treatment and recycle of waste resources to ensure the rare earth plants to achieve higher efficiency, sustainable development and lower carbon emission.
Recycling is a way to provide a secondary source of supply for the precious metals. The existing recycling rate for the rare-earth metals is less than 5% which presents a significant opportunity for important recycling efforts. Recycling will not only provide a secondary source of supply, but will also have a positive impact on the environment with decreased mining. It will also minimize the impact of waste and toxins entering water sources.
There is a significant gap between China’s rare earth new material development and the international level. The traditional production process not only impedes the manufacturing of high-end rare earth materials but also generates a huge amount of waste. Low-end products are surplus and some key rare earth strategic materials are scarce due to the lack of purification technology. This has resulted in many China manufacturers still heavily dependent on foreign imports of high-end rare earth materials.
We will continue our R&D to further purify and refine our recovered metals and transform them into more high-end Rare Earth products.
The Solution – 2P3R
APM PROTECTS the environment by providing greener processes to treat wastewater and solid waste, PREVENT the environment from damage, and RECOVER and REUSE precious metals and resources. R&D will continue to be at the centre to develop more greener technologies to REFINE the metal and create added-value intermediate and end products.