The Government of Saskatchewan announced $31 million in funding for a rare earth processing facility in Saskatchewan. The facility, which will be the first of its kind in Canada, will be owned and operated by the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC).
The facility will start to establish a Rare Earth Element (REE) supply chain in Saskatchewan, forming an industry model for future commercial REE resource expansion. REE metals are naturally occurring minerals that are essential to the modern global economy and economic development.
Global demand for REEs is expected to increase significantly in the coming decade as demand for electric vehicles, renewable power generation and all forms of electronics increases.
“Saskatchewan’s new Rare Earth Processing Facility will be a catalyst to stimulate the resource sector in Saskatchewan and across Canada, providing the early-stage supply chain needed to generate cash-flow, investment and industrial growth of the sector,” said Premier Scott Moe. “It will also help ensure the competitiveness of Saskatchewan as we focus on our economic recovery and grow our province over the next decade.”
An illustrated model of the new rare earth element processing facility.
The conversion of REE ore to individual REE products is done in two main stages. The first is the concentration of ore to mixed REE Carbonate. The second is the more complex separation stage that converts the mixed REE Carbonate to commercial pure-grade REEs. The facility will address both stages of REE processing.
The facility is expected to be fully operational in late 2022 with construction beginning this fall.
SRC is Canada’s second largest research and technology organization, providing services and products to 1,500 clients in 27 countries around the world.
Featured image caption: Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announces the $31 million investment into creating Canada’s first Rare Earth Processing Facility in partnership with SRC.
To view a video about the announcement, click here.