Vitals Saskatoon Rare Earth Extraction Plant on Track for First Feed End 2021
4 October 2021
News Release, October 4, 2021
- Construction is underway on Vital Metals’ rare earth extraction plant in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada which will process ore from Vital’s Nechalacho mine
- All major processing equipment items procured within budget with some items oversized to provide additional production capacity
- Plant will have start up throughput capacity of 1,000t/yr excluding cerium (equivalent to 470t/yr of NdPr)
- Vital has expanded Stage 2 capacity to 2,000t/yr ex. cerium (940t/yr NdPr) – representing 50% larger plant throughput capacity than initially planned
- Vital has engaged Halyard Incorporated to oversee project management and general engineering of the facility and a Principal's Representative to manage delivery of the project
- Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) will provide technical support during plant construction and operation and ensure ongoing collaboration between Vital and the Rare Earth Processing Facility
- Vital expects first feed into the plant in December 2021; first product by June 2022.
Vital Metals Limited (ASX: VML) (“Vital Metals” or “the Company”) is pleased to provide an update on development of its rare earth extraction facility in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, where it feed into the plant by the end of CY2021.
Vital Metals’ Managing Director Geoff Atkins said commissioning of the plant would occur incrementally over the first half of CY2022 and first product out is scheduled to occur end of H1 CY22.
“Vital has procured all key equipment required to process REE ore from our Nechalacho operation in the Northwest Territories into rare earth carbonate at the Saskatoon plant, including oversizing of some items to enable us to increase production in our second stage of operations,” Mr Atkins said. “This will provide our plant with the capability upon start-up to produce 1,000t REO (excluding Cerium), or approximately 470t NdPr per annum, with initial expansion capability to ramp up to a capacity of 2,000t REO (excluding Cerium), or 940t NdPr, per annum.”
“This procurement represents all major plant, equipment and engineering for the project, at a cost of approximately $6m, despite the majority of equipment being oversized.
“Our decision to oversize some items is based on the experience of our management team at other rare earth projects and will allow us to expand our production facility in the future with only minimal additional capital expenditure.
“Construction of our custom-built facility is underway at the same time as the SRC Rare Earth Processing Facility being built by Saskatchewan Research Council, and it’s exciting to see this rare earths hub start to take shape in Saskatoon.
“Our first shipment of ore is due to leave Nechalacho this month and we expect to start feeding in to the plant before the end of CY2021, with commissioning to follow.”