Becoming Canada's First Rare Earth Producer Nechalacho Project Canada
ASX:VML Investor summary
Vital Metals’ Nechalacho rare earths project in Canada’s Northwest Territories (NWT), 100km southeast of Yellowknife, 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 is targeting production of rare earth oxide at Nechalacho in 2021, with early production from a North T starter pit. It has completed detailed engineering for the ore sorting plant, and defined capital and operating costs. 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.
Site establishment works are on track and mining is set to commence at the North T Zone in March 2021. 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. Nechalacho is fully permitted to commence mining and sorting operations at site. Total construction cost to produce rare earth carbonate at Nechalacho is A$20 million.
Vital aims to be the largest independent supplier of clean mixed rare earth feedstock outside China.
Mining Operations Commenced April 2021
Definitive Off-Take Agreement Signed
• Off-take Agreement signed with REEtec for a base of 1,000t REO (ex-Cerium) per annum for a period of 5 years
• Option to increase off-take to 5,000t REO per annum for a period of 10 years (subject to a corresponding supply agreement)
World class REO Development Team – ex Lynas Corporation Ltd
• Managing Director: Geoff Atkins – ex Lynas Corporate Development
• Chief Operating Officer: Tony Hadley – ex Lynas and Northern Minerals Operation Manager
2 World Class Rare Earth projects
• Nechalacho (Canada): 95mt at 1.46% TREO
• Wigu Hill (Tanzania): 3.3mt at 2.6% TREO
• 35%+ initial beneficiation via ore sorting
• 97% recovery into solution via hydrochloric acid with using industry standard process
Supporting a non-China supply chain
• Nechalacho located in Canada
• Accepted into Canadian Government AGS scheme to promote Canadian Government assistance
About Vital Metals
Vital Metals (ASX: VML) is an explorer and developer with highly prospective mineral projects, focusing on the world-class rare earth Nechalacho project in Canada. It plans to commence production at Nechalacho in 2021, and aims to produce a minimum 5,000 tonnes of contained REO by 2025.
Mining at Nechalacho’s North T Zone will commence in March 2021 as part of its Stage 1 production strategy, and Vital has commenced drilling to define a mine plan for Stage 2 as it works to develop a larger scale, longer life rare earths project.
Vital Metals aims to become the lowest cost producer of mixed rare earth oxide outside of China by developing one of the highest grade rare earth deposits in the world and the only rare earth project capable of beneficiation solely by ore sorting.
Vital’s other projects include the high-grade Wigu Hill rare earth resource in Tanzania.
Led by Managing Director, Geoff Atkins Vital Metals management team are world experts in developing rare earth projects.
Mr Atkins is a Civil Engineer with over 20 years of project and corporate development experience across commercial, industrial, mining and infrastructure sectors with responsibility for driving projects from concept, through feasibility and development to operational assets.
Mr Atkins is the current Managing Director of Cheetah. Other recent roles include Corporate Planning Manager at Lynas Corporation where he oversaw development and implementation of the corporate strategic planning process. This included the management and governance of the following capital works and business development programs:
- Mt Weld Rare Earth Mine and Concentration Plant;
- Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP): Kuantan, Malaysia;
- Kangankunde Rare Earth Project: Malawi; and
- Crown Polymetallic Deposit.
He has also held the position of Group Executive – Operations at Rutila Resources. In this role, he managed corporate and project development activities including the following strategic and execution plans, business cases, feasibility assessments, project management and governance activities:
- $4B Balla Balla Infrastructure Project: 100Mtpa open access, greenfield port and rail development; and
- $1B Balla Balla Titano-Magnetite Project.
Media Interviews / Market Updates / Commentaries
Managing Director Geoff Atkins talking Rare Earths
1. ASX announcement dated 15 April 2020 titled “Substantial Increase in Resource Size and Grade at North-T Zone Nechalacho” and
ASX announcement dated 13 December 2019 titled “Vital Announces JORC 2012 Compliant Resources for the Nechalacho Rare Earth Deposit”