Pele Mountain Resources (TSXV:GEM) provided an update regarding development plans for its rare earth processing center near its Eco Ridge property. The company is also pursuing the development of solar energy power projects. As quoted in the press release: Progress on Monazite Processing Project Pele continues to pursue the sustainable development of a Rare Earth …
Pele Mountain Resources (TSXV:GEM) provided an update regarding development plans for its rare earth processing center near its Eco Ridge property. The company is also pursuing the development of solar energy power projects.
As quoted in the press release:
Progress on Monazite Processing Project
Pele continues to pursue the sustainable development of a Rare Earth Processing Centre at Eco Ridge as a low cost alternative to mine development. There is no sustainable rare earth production or supply chain in Canada at this time, and recent market conditions have not supported the development of high CAPEX hard-rock mining projects. The massive decline in rare earth prices over the last five years has not alleviated supply risk but has actually increased it by discouraging new production needed for the longer term. For Canada to remain secure and competitive in clean energy, high-tech, defense, and other strategic industries, it is important to establish rare earth production and separation in Canada.
Pele’s plan is to kick-start rare earth production in Canada by processing imported monazite at Eco Ridge. High rare earth grades in monazite allow for substantial production (especially magnet metals neodymium and praseodymium) from relatively low tonnage. Processing-only operations sharply reduce CAPEX and time-to-market compared to development of a new hard rock mine and processing operations, and can provide scalable, secure production. The metallurgical techniques for processing monazite are well established, allowing for reduced technical risk and shortened ramp-up times. Management believes that monazite processing is the right strategy to achieve timely, relatively low cost rare earth production in Canada.
Pele has received monazite bearing mineral sands, delivered from current mining operations of a potential supplier, for characterization and metallurgical test work, and has retained senior metallurgist John Goode, FCIM, FAusIMM, ARSM, P.Eng., an independent metallurgical expert and Qualified Person under NI 43-101 with significant expertise in rare earth processing, to assist in the preparation of an economic model for the project, which will be used in support of marketing efforts to enter into long-term off-take agreements with major end users, primarily of the magnet metals.
Pele has identified and engaged multiple potential monazite suppliers regarding long term off-take arrangements, and initiated discussions with government entities regarding the various regulatory requirements for monazite transportation and facilities development and retained a logistics expert to assist in the arrangements for importation and transportation of monazite.
Elliot Lake is an ideal location to host a rare earth processing centre. It is Canada’s only proven historic rare earth mining and processing camp and has outstanding regional infrastructure including highways, railway, electricity, natural gas, airport, deep-water ports, and a qualified workforce. The region hosts vast undeveloped rare earth and uranium resources, such as those at Eco Ridge. The community supports Pele’s monazite processing strategy and has said so publicly.