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Vital Metals (ASX:VML) - Managing Director, Geoff Atkins - The Market Herald
Managing Director, Geoff Atkins
Source: Cabin Radio
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  • Vital Metals (VML) is progressing works at its Nechalacho Project in Canada ahead of rare earths beneficiation scheduled to begin this month
  • The company says it is on track to become the first rare earths producer in Canada and the second in North America
  • Notably, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) has agreed to contribute 50 per cent of the operation's eligible ore sorting costs
  • Cheetah Resources, a subsidiary of Vital Metals, penned the deal with CanNor for a repayable contribution of C$1.26 million (roughly A$1.35 million) over 10 years
  • Once in production, the product will be shipped from Nechalacho to VML's plant in Saskatoon, where it will be processed into a mixed rare earth precipitate for export to Norway
  • Vital Metals shares are trading 1.7 per cent higher at 5.8 cents

Vital Metals (VML) is progressing works at its Nechalacho Project in Canada ahead of rare earths beneficiation scheduled to begin in June.

The company says it is on track to commence ore sorting next month, which will make VML the first rare earths producer in Canada and the second in North America.

Vital is eyeing several key milestones in June, including the first blast of ore, erection and commissioning of the ore sorter, commencement of crushing and production of its first beneficiated product.

CanNor to partially fund ore sorting

Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) has agreed to contribute 50 per cent of eligible costs covering the company's use of a sensor-based ore sorter and material-handling equipment.

Cheetah Resources, a Canadian subsidiary of Vital Metals, penned the deal with CanNor for a repayable contribution of C$1.26 million (roughly A$1.35 million).

Under the 10-year loan, the funds will be dispersed within the next 12 months with repayments by VML payable at any time from financial year 2023, without penalty or interest.

Cheetah will use the funding to demonstrate the environmental, technical and economic advantages of single-step, sensor-based rare earth ore sorting to produce a mixed rare earth concentrate.

From Nechalacho, the product will be shipped to the company's plant in Saskatoon, where it will be processed into a mixed rare earth precipitate, primarily for export to Norway.

Vital Metals Managing Director Geoff Atkins said May had been busy at Nechalacho as the company geared up to commence ore sorting this month.

"With mining underway, we are focussed on ensuring the ore sorter is installed and commissioned for operation," Geoff said.

"CanNor's support for adapting and adopting sensor-based ore sorting technology for the extraction of rare earths will result in a much smaller environmental footprint than would otherwise be the case."

The company claims its beneficiation process uses less diesel, little to no water, and involves no additives, making it more environmentally friendly than other processes.

On the market this afternoon, Vital Metals shares were trading 1.7 per cent higher at 5.8 cents at 1:39 pm AEST.

VML by the numbers
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