Cbilllc--Wow... you are putting the hours in on this.  As you can see from your research, it is the processing that is key to all these projects, as Jack Lifton has said every time he speaks.  Having worked on a pilot process for four years, you would think Alkane would have a good handle on the issue, but it sounds like what they have learned is it is very hard to separate REEs, light and heavy, and they are looking for someone to do it for them.  The original plans seemed to indicate that they intended to do it themselves, but complexity and cost seem to have them looking for a simpler solution to making some money from their REE content.  Be sure to let us know if you come across any other enlightening finds, and thanks for updating us....Ponch