Mike Crabtree hopes Saskatchewan will serve as a catalyst for the rare earth elements industry. “The actual demand for rare earths is going to hockey stick literally over the next 10 years and Saskatchewan has the opportunity to be a major producer,” said Crabtree, president and CEO of the Saskatchewan Research Council.
Crabtree made his comments at Nutrien Tower in Saskatoon on a panel for Saskatchewan Mining Week. He said all 17 rare earth elements can be found in Saskatchewan. They are used in products such as cell phones, televisions, computers, vehicles and wind turbines.
The council is set to begin opening its $35 million rare earth processing facility next year, the first of its kind in North America. Crabtree said the West must establish its own supply chain for the products, or else be “completely reliant on China.”
Saskatchewan Mining Association Chair Larry Long said a lot of exploration is happening in the province, which bodes well for the mineral industry.
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