Vital says rare earths grades mined at Nechalacho exceed expectations
(Kitco News) - Vital Metals (ASX: VML), Canada's first rare earths producer, announced yesterday that ore sorter commissioning at its Nechalacho rare earths project in Northwest Territories, Canada, has been completed with production continuing through August.
The company said that approximately 28,000 tonnes of ore has been mined from Nechalacho's North T pit. High-grade fines have been direct bagged, without the need for further upgrading due to higher than expected TREO grades, Vital noted in its statement.
Vital added it expects to ship approximately 1,000t of beneficiated product to Saskatoon in the 3rd Quarter, 2021. This will be sufficient to supply the first 9 months commissioning with further deliveries to be scheduled as required, the company said.
Managing Director Geoff Atkins said mining and sorting operations at Nechalacho have continued through August with key highlights being zones of high grade ore able to be bagged directly from the crusher, without the need to be processed through the ore sorter.
"As mentioned last month, mining at North T intersected high-grade REO mineralisation in the northern edge of the pit wall which was not part of our existing North T mineral resource. Mining in this area produced a high-grade ore that did not require processing through the ore sorter – we have simply crushed and bagged it, ready for transport to Saskatoon in coming weeks," he said.
"We expect to commence shipping approximately 1,000t of beneficiated product by the end of September. We will ship these to Saskatoon, where our rare earth extraction plant is currently under construction. The volume of material being transported to Saskatoon will be sufficient to commission and operate the Rare Earth Extraction Plant prior to further deliveries of product next northern summer," Atkins added.
Vital Metals is an explorer and developer focusing on rare earths, technology metals and gold projects. The company's projects are located across a range of jurisdictions in Canada, Africa and Germany.