SASKATOON, SK, Sept. 20, 2022 /CNW/ - Mining and mineral exploration continue to play an integral role in shaping Saskatchewan's economy. Whether in potash for agriculture, uranium for clean fuel, helium for medical and industrial use, or numerous other applications, Saskatchewan is a top mining region in Canada and is positioned to be a key player in the new opportunities presented by rare earth elements (REE).
REE are components used in electric vehicles, wind turbines, everyday electronics, as well as industrial applications. Canada has some of the largest known reserves and resources of rare earth oxides, estimated at over 14 million tonnes in 2021.
The Government of Canada is supporting the growth of the critical minerals sector beyond mining to include processing and production of value-added products. This will create new economic opportunities for Canadians, help secure North America's rare earth supply chain and benefit the environment.
Today, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, announced total funding of $7.5 million to support Canada's first-ever REE processing facilities, located in Saskatchewan.
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- Vital Metals Canada Ltd. ("Vital Metals") received $5 million to install equipment and start processing bastnaesite concentrate to produce mixed rare earth carbonate at its new plant in Saskatoon. This investment is an interest-free repayable contribution under the Jobs and Growth Fund, designed to help create jobs and position local economies for long-term growth.
- The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) received $2.5 million in interest-free repayable funding under the Western Diversification Program to purchase equipment needed to establish a rare earth processing facility in Saskatoon that produces mixed rare earth carbonite by processing monazite ore.