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  • Vital Metals (VML) reports metallurgical testwork at its Nechalacho project in the Northwest Territories, Canada, exceeded expectations for rare earth oxide operations
  • Vital’s testwork on mineralisation from the Tardiff Zone 1 in the area returned grades of up to 39.9 per cent total rare earth oxides (TREO) after three beneficiation stages
  • Managing Director Geoff Atkins says this testwork demonstrates the “enormous potential” of Tardiff
  • The company is now taking on further testwork at Tardiff Zone 1 to determine if it can generate separate light and heavy rare earth concentrates from the area
  • Shares in Vital Metals are down two per cent to 4.9 cents each at 1:18 pm AEST

Canadian rare earths producer Vital Metals (VML) today reported metallurgical testwork at its Nechalacho project in the Northwest Territories exceeded expectations for rare earth oxide operations.

The company completed the test work on mineralisation from the Tardiff Zone 1 in the area, returning grades of up to 39.9 per cent total rare earth oxides (TREO) after three beneficiation stages at a recovery rate of 53.7 per cent.

The TREO recovery after each of the beneficiation steps — sorting, gravity and flotation concentration — were 91.7 per cent, 81.4 per cent, and 66 per cent, respectively, according to Vital. What’s more, the final concentrate grade for neodymium oxide came in at 7.07 per cent at an overall recovery of 51.4 per cent.

Vital Metals Managing Director Geoff Atkins said this testwork demonstrated the “enormous potential” of Tardiff.

“This testwork demonstrates that we can produce a high concentrate grade from Tardiff which is so critical for cost-effective rare earth production,” Mr Atkins said.

He said these new results show Vital could process mineralisation through a similar process flowsheet as it was using for the North T deposit at the Nechalacho project, which could further ensure minimal development costs.

“These results highlight the potential for Nechalacho to become a large-scale, long-life rare earths operation.”

Vital said it planned to develop the larger Tardiff deposit as part of its second-stage operations at Nechalacho.

The company is taking on further testwork at Tardiff Zone 1 to determine if it can generate separate light and heavy rare earth concentrates from the area.

This is all part of Vital’s plan to become the world’s first rare earths producer capable of producing commercial quantities of both heavy and light rare earths.

Shares in Vital Metals were down two per cent to 4.9 cents each at 1:18 pm AEST.

VML by the numbers
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