Prairies Economic Development Canada announces funding of $7.5 million to support Canada’s first REE processing facilities.

On September 20, 2022, Mr. Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, announced a total funding of C$7.5 million to support Canada’s first REE processing facilities in Saskatchewan.

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 breakdown of the announced funding is as follows:

・Vital Metals Canada Ltd. 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.  

The investments above align with Canadian Government’s priorities, seizing economic opportunities and helping the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy while establishing Canada as a sustainable source of critical minerals.

Source: Government of Canada’s home page