- Vital Metals (VML) commences feeding ore into a dense media separation (DMS) plant as part of commissioning its rare extraction facility in Saskatoon, Canada
- Over the coming months, Vital will commission the facility with plans to produce a rare earth carbonate sample for offtake partner REEtec Ag as the next step of product qualification
- Commissioning and ramp-up of the Saskatoon plant will occur over two distinct phases, mainly the product qualification phase before the throughput ramp-up phase commences under which the plant will process rare earth ore mined from Vital’s Nechalacho project
- Shares in Vital Metals last traded at 4.3 cents as of June 16
Vital Metals (VML) has commenced feeding ore into a dense media separation (DMS) plant as part of commissioning its rare extraction facility in Saskatoon, Canada.
The rare earth producer will commission the facility gradually over the coming months with plans to produce a 2.5-tonne rare earth carbonate sample for offtake partner, REEtec Ag as the next step of product qualification which is expected to occur in October.
Commissioning and ramp-up of the Saskatoon plant will occur over two distinct phases, mainly the product qualification phase before the throughput ramp-up phase commences.
Managing Director Geoff Atkins called the commissioning an exciting step as it continues to transition from rare earth developer to operator.
“We have been a rare earth miner for more than 12 months and now we can commence production of rare earth carbonate.
“We are excited to have reached this milestone at Saskatoon despite the challenges surrounding supply chains and logistics across the world.”
The Saskatoon plant will have initial throughput capacity of 1000 tonnes per year of rare earth oxide (REO) excluding cerium, which is equivalent to approximately 470 tonnes neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) per year.
The facility will process rare earth ore mined at Vital’s Nechalacho project in Canada.
Under Vital’s amended offtake agreement with REEtec, the company will gradually deliver
187.5 tonnes of NdPr contained within approximately 500 tonnes of TREO to REEtec by October 2023 and a minimum of 750 tonnes of NdPr per year over five years.
The plant is adjacent to a rare earth processing plant under construction by Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) as part of a rare earths hub.
The SRC is providing technical support during the construction and operation of the plant as part of ongoing collaboration, allowing Vital and SRC to maximise potential synergies between the two operations.
Shares in Vital Metals were trading 6.98 per cent at 4.6 cents at 10:46 am AEST.