Vital Metals commenced rare earths production at Nechalacho in Canada’s Northwest Territories (NWT) in 2021, making Vital the first rare earths producer in Canada and only the second in North America.
We commenced mining ore from the North T starter pit in June 2021, which we are crushing and sorting on site. We will transport beneficiated material to our Saskatoon rare earth extraction plant later this year.
Nechalacho hosts a world-class resource of 94.7Mt at 1.46% REO (measured, indicated and inferred). Nechalacho’s North T Zone hosts a high-grade resource of 101,000 tonnes at 9.01% LREO (2.2% NdPr), making it one of the highest grade rare earths deposits in the world.
Vital aims to produce a minimum of 5,000 tonnes of contained REO by 2025 at the project, and has signed an off-take agreement with Norwegian company REEtec for Stage 1 production with the supply of 1,000t REO (ex-Cerium)/yr for an initial five-year period.
Vital has commenced drilling to define a mine plan for Stage 2 which will involve development of the larger Tardiff deposit. This drilling aims to develop Nechalacho as a larger scale, longer life rare earths project.
More than $120 million has been spent by previous owners on drilling, permitting and project development at Nechalacho, which includes a 40-person camp and airstrip.
Vital aims to be the largest independent supplier of clean mixed rare earth feedstock outside China.