Prime Minister Trudeau Tours Vital Metals’ Saskatoon Rare Earth Facility
17 January 2023
SASKATOON, SK January 16, 2023 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau toured Vital Metals’ rare earth processing facility this morning, the first stop of a three-day tour across Canada to promote the federal government’s initiative for accelerated development of the country’s critical metals as an opportunity in the global supply chain.
“People are realizing that this extraordinary transformation toward more electric vehicles, more advanced high-tech solutions in everything we do, requires more access to advanced materials and rare earth elements,” Mr. Trudeau said to local and national media at Vital’s 3,000 square meter rare earth processing plant, now in construction in Saskatoon’s industrial sector.
“That’s why the world is looking to Canada, because Canada has incredible amounts of critical minerals and rare earth elements that the world needs,” adding, “People want to see these are done… in partnership and respect with Indigenous people.”
John Dorward, Vital’s Managing Director, toured the PM through the plant – the first of its kind in Canada – and the country’s gateway into the global rare earth supply chain. Saskatoon will process rare earth ore from Vital’s Nechalacho Mine in the Northwest Territories for sale to European, Canadian and American separation facilities who will undertake the final separation into individual rare earth elements to supply manufacturers around the world.
“Canadian rare earths are critical for powering Canada’s transition to the green and digital economy for our own industry, our friends and our allies,” said Dorward. “We are engaging with our stakeholders about plans to expand mining operations and value-added processing from originally 500 tonnes per year of NdPr (magnetic rare earths) to potentially 4,000 tonnes to meet ever-growing demand.
“Much of the reason that we have been able to advance our vision has been due to the support of the Government of Canada,” he said, with loans for innovative sorting technology at the mine site and at North America’s first rare earth processing plant in Saskatoon. Natural Resources Canada and Global Affairs Canada have also assisted, as have the governments of the Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan and Saskatoon.
Click below for company release with photos.