Vital Metals (ASX: VML) is Canada’s first – and North America’s second – rare earths producer, with production underway at its Nechalacho Project site in the Northwest Territories.
Vital 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.
On April 4, Vital Metals announced the company signed a funding agreement for C$5 million from PrairiesCan (formerly Western Economic Diversification) for its planned rare earth extraction facility in Saskatoon, repayable over 5 years starting in April 2024.
The funding will be administered under Canada’s Jobs and Growth Fund and will cover 32 per cent of costs towards establishing operations and commissioning the facility. The plant will process bastnaesite concentrate to produce a mixed rare earth carbonate.
SREDA has supported Vital’s planned expansion to Saskatoon for some time – most recently by leading Vital’s application for a Business Development Tax Incentive.
Commenting on the funding announcement, SREDA President and CEO Alex Fallon: “Saskatoon is poised to become North America’s hub for rare earth processing and research. This funding announcement for Vital is a significant step in that direction. We look forward to Vital ramping up its plans to open the extraction facility in Saskatoon later this year and the new local jobs that will be created.”