Canadian Rare Earth Mine: Vital Metals Shelves Sale of Raw Material to China

by | 17. Jun 2024 - 11:37 | Economy

Rare earths were originally set to go to Chinese company Shenghe. Government brokered a new transaction in Canada.

In December, Vital Metals, operator of Canada’s only rare earth mine, Nechalacho, made headlines with the planned sale of all its raw materials to China. On Monday (PDF), the mining company announced that the raw materials already mined and stockpiled will remain in the country and go to a new buyer, presumably for further processing. For almost two million US dollars, the rare earths from the Tardiff deposit near Nechalacho will be sold to the state-funded research organization Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC), which is currently building Canada’s first domestic processing plant for rare earths. The Canadian Ministry of Energy and Resources broke the deal, superseding the previously planned transaction. The exact reasons were not disclosed, but the press release states that the government recognizes Nechalacho as a strategic asset for the country’s prosperity.

The refining of the critical raw materials, which are required for electric motors and wind turbines, among other things, has so far mainly taken place in China. Vital Metals, for its part, had plans for a processing plant but had to abandon them last year. The Chinese mining group Shenghe Resources then bought a substantial stake in Vital Metals. It was also the intended buyer of the stockpiled raw material for just under 1.7 million US dollars.

Photo: iStock/jasonbennee

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