Rare earth minerals could help in climate change fight, but mining raises environmental concerns: expert (CBC News Saskatchewan – January 31, 2023)


Vital Metals plant in Saskatoon will process rare earth elements mined in Northwest Territories

While rare earth minerals are now being touted as a key part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, there are environmental concerns in extracting these minerals from the ground, says an expert in environmental considerations around mining.

Demand is growing for rare earth elements — a group of 17 metallic elements that tend to occur in the same ore deposits and are used in batteries for everything from vehicles to smartphones.

Rare earth elements are being prioritized for investments in exploration, production and processing as part of Canada’s critical minerals strategy, which was announced last month.

Some of Canada’s experience in mining things like gold or potash is now being used to hunt for rare earth minerals, and Saskatchewan is playing a role through the Vital Metals rare earth processing plant in Saskatoon, which is expected to begin production in the next couple of months.

For the rest of this article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/rare-earth-minerals-climate-change-concerns-1.6731669