The rare-earth concentrate is on its way to Saskatoon before moving on to Norway
Tuesday was an exciting day for Cheetah Resources and its Nechalacho mine. Their first shipment of rare-earth concentrate left Hay River and is making its way to Saskatoon.
Once there, it will be turned into mixed rare earth carbonate and then shipped to Norway for further processing. A groundbreaking day not only for the north but the rest of the country as well. This is the first rare-earth mine in Canada and only the second in North America.
“We’re a player in a big world,” said Tom Hoefer, executive director of NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines. “Just like diamonds catapulted us into the global diamond field, this is going to push us way out into global recognition of rare earths,” he said.
Hoefer is looking forward to the expansion of the mine which he praised for using an Indigenous mining company from Yellowknives Dene First Nation and using ecoconscious processing methods. Nechalacho mine doesn’t use water or chemicals in the extraction and sorting process, which isn’t a first in the field of mining but is a first in rare-earth mining.