Vital Metals Limited (ASX: VML) announced that mining contractors have completed the first blast at its Nechalacho rare earths project in Northwest Territories, Canada.
The company said that the concentrate production at Canada’s first rare earth mine is expected to begin via ore sorting in June 2021, ahead of being sent to Saskatoon cracking and leaching facility later in 2021.
The Nechalacho project is a high-grade, light rare earth (bastnaesite) project located at Nechalacho in the Northwest Territories of Canada and has potential for a start-up operation exploiting high-grade, easily accessible near surface mineralisation.
The Nechalacho Rare Earth Project hosts within the Upper Zone, a measured, indicated, and inferred JORC Resource of 94MT at 1.46% TREO.
Vital’s strategy is to develop Nechalacho in two stages. Stage 1 of the operations focuses on the North T Zone resource and Stage 2 will involve the development of the much larger Tardiff deposit.
First blast completed, production in June
The company announced that the first blast has been completed at its Nechalacho rare earths project by mining contractor Det’on Cho Nahanni Construction. Vital Metals said that it expects to commence production of rare earth oxide in the June 2021 quarter following the commencement of a mining campaign in March 2021.
The company said that concentrate production will begin via ore sorting in June 2021, ahead of being sent to Saskatoon cracking and leaching facility later in 2021.
Once in production, Vital Metals will be the first rare earths producer in Canada and only the second in North America.
Vital Metals Managing Director Geoff Atkins said, “This is another exciting milestone for Vital as we move closer to rare earths production at Nechalacho this quarter. Plans are progressing to schedule, with all equipment now delivered to site and we look forward to achieving production status in the coming weeks.”
Image Source: Vital Metals Limited