Vital rare earths sample from Nechalacho
Another step toward commercial REE production in Canada Metal Tech News – March 10, 2021
Last updated 7/1/2022 at 9:35am
A 12-kilogram (26.5 pounds) sample of rare earth carbonate from Vital Metals Ltd.'s Nechalacho project in Canada's Northwest Territories takes the Australian mining company one step closer to its goal of commercially producing REEs this year.
"Production of our bulk sample for REEtec is another important step towards reaching full production at Nechalacho," said Vital Metals Managing Director Geoff Atkins.
Produced from a bulk sampling program at Nechalacho, this first bag of rare earth material is being shipped to REEtec, a Norway-based company that has developed a new and sustainable earths separation technology, for further processing.
Under an agreement entered into in February, REEtech is slated to produce at least 1,000 metric tons of rare earth oxides per year from carbonates produced from Nechalacho.
More information on REEtec and an offtake and profit-sharing agreement it has with Vital can be read at An international REE partnership in NWT in the February 3, 2021 edition of Metal Tech News.
The REE carbonate sample will help REEtec prepare for larger quantities expected to be shipped from Nechalacho later this year.
"Production of this sample demonstrates we have our processes working correctly and we are preparing to send the sample to REEtec so it can undergo customer acceptance, as well as producing samples for other potential customers," said Atkins.
Vital is currently mobilizing crews and equipment for mining that is slated to begin later this month.
The earthworks and mining at Nechalacho are being carried out by Det'on Cho Nahanni Construction Ltd., a Northwest Territories-based company 51% owned by Det'on Cho Corporation, which is in turn owned by the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.
The rare earths ore stockpiled by Det'on Cho Nahanni Construction will be concentrated with an ore sorter before being shipped to Vital's rare earth extraction plant in Saskatchewan to create carbonates that companies such as REEtec can separate out the individual rare earth elements.
"We are preparing for our ore sorter to arrive at Nechalacho while mining is also due to start within the next few weeks, so we are getting rea(ll)y close to achieving our production goal," Atkins said.
In addition to gearing up for initial production, Vital has begun a drill program to define other deposits for a second stage of increased production from Nechalacho.
More in-depth coverage of Nechalacho and the rare earths production plan can be read at Power of partnerships rare earth strategy in the February 24, 2021 edition of Metal Tech News.