A report from Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources emphasizes that the country’s “position is unique with respect to REE development not only because of its rare earth reserves, but also because of the country’s stable environment and mining expertise,” according to Mineweb.
That said, Canada is far from being a REE powerhouse:
Government officials identified 11 REE projects in the advanced exploration stage, all of which are owned by Canadian companies. Among these projects, five owned by Avalon, Quest, Matamec, Pele Mountain and Orbit are expected to reach production in the next four to five years.
However, the report observed ‘development costs of a rare earths mine are much higher than those associated with mining a more traditional metal, such as copper. Some companies expect annual revenue of approximately $1 billion; however, this may vary depending on the nature and geology of the deposit. The committee also learned that developing a REE mine may take between seven to 10 years and involve several stages of development (e.g., prefeasibility studies and environment assessment).’
‘Witnesses told committee members that Canadian rare earth companies are facing significant technical, economic, environmental management, and community engagement and consultation challenges,’ said the report.