Ottawa, Saskatchewan Research Council step in to prevent sale of Canadian rare earth metals to Chinese buyer – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – June 18, 2024)

The federal government and the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) are stopping Canadian rare earth metals from falling into the hands of a Chinese buyer, after facing backlash from critics who argued that allowing the deal to proceed was antithetical to Canada’s critical minerals policy.

Australia-based Vital Metals Ltd. in December announced it was selling its stockpile of rare earths that were mined at the Nechalacho Project in the Northwest Territories to China’s Shenghe Resources Holding Co. Ltd.

China on multiple occasions has allegedly engaged in dumping of critical minerals to squeeze international competitors. China accounts for roughly 70 per cent of global rare earths mining and 90 per cent of refining, according to the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

Nechalacho at one point was the only rare earths mine in operation in Canada, and was promoted by Ottawa as part of this country’s solution to Chinese domination of critical minerals.

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