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  • Vital Metals (VML) has signed a lease for a rare earth extraction plant site in Saskatoon, Canada, to process material from its Nechalacho project in the country’s Northwest Territories
  • The company has completed its first mining blast at Nechalacho and plans to start production of rare earth oxide in the June 2021 quarter, with plans to begin sending material to the new extraction plant in November
  • The ten-year lease agreement is between Vital Metals’ subsidiary, Cheetah Resources Saskatchewan, and Northstar Innovative Developments
  • The lease is located adjacent to Saskatchewan Research Council’s planned rare earth separation facility, making way for a rare earth processing “hub” in Saskatoon
  • Vital Metals shares are trading 1.9 per cent higher at 5.2 cents each

Vital Metals (VML) has signed a lease for a rare earth extraction plant site in Saskatoon, Canada, to process material from its Nechalacho project in the country’s Northwest Territories.

Last week, the company completed its first mining blast at Nechalacho and plans to start production of rare earth oxide in the June 2021 quarter.

The recently signed ten-year lease agreement is between Vital Metals’ subsidiary, Cheetah Resources Saskatchewan, and Northstar Innovative Developments.

According to the key terms, the lease begins on the first day of the month following the month in which Northstar, which is the landlord, substantially completes construction of a building.

Today’s announcement didn’t include the rental rate, but the key terms mention that if the parties can’t agree on the rent, it will be fixed by arbitration.

The lease comprises land and building totalling 40,000 square feet and is located adjacent to Saskatchewan Research Council’s (SRC) planned rare earth separation facility, making way for a rare earth processing “hub” in Saskatoon.

The processing facility has received government funding of C$31 million, (roughly A$33 million) and once completed, is said to be the first of its kind in Canada.

Further, Northstar owns the land where SRC is developing its project.

Vital Metals’ Managing Director Geoff Atkins said the location of the site “makes sense”.

“Our facility will be located within SRC’s rare earth precinct which has the potential to provide us with several advantages including the opportunity for SRC to be a potential customer of our rare earth carbonate product.”

First product from Vital’s Nechalacho rare earths project is scheduled for delivery to Saskatoon in November 2021.

Vital Metals shares are trading 1.9 per cent higher at 5.2 cents each at 1:41pm AEST.

VML by the numbers
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