In a news release, Defense Metals Corp. (DEFN:TSX.V; DFMTF:OTCQB; 35D:FSE) reported that the government of Saskatchewan "announced CA$31 million in funding for a Rare Earth Element (REE) Processing Facility in Saskatchewan." The company stated that the Saskatchewan Research Council will own and operate the facility when it is completed.
The firm explained that converting REE ore to individual REE products is performed in two key stages. The first stage involves the concentration of ore to mixed REE Carbonate. The second, or separation stage, is a much more complex process where the mixed REE carbonate is converted to commercial pure-grade REEs.
The company reported that the new facility in Saskatchewan will be designed to handle each of these stages of REE processing. The firm stated that the Saskatchewan government also acknowledged and recognized that global REE demand will increase significantly in the next decade.
Craig Taylor, CEO of Defense Metals, commented, "As we continue to advance our Wicheeda Rare Earth Element Property, access to specialized rare earth processing facilities in safe and friendly jurisdictions will be of critical importance. Outside of China, the rest of the world is rapidly working to secure access to REE concentrate and processing facilities. Given that the Wicheeda deposit is located in Canada gives us a strategic advantage as we continue to have discussions with various parties about this deposit."
The firm indicated that the Wicheeda REE Property covers 1,708 hectares and is located about 80 km northeast of Prince George, British Columbia. The company noted that it has an option to acquire 100% of the property, which is accessible by all-weather gravel roads and is located close to desired infrastructure such as power transmission lines, major highways and the CN railway. The property is located in the Foreland Belt within the Rocky Mountain Trench and includes several carbonatite and alkaline intrusive complexes hosting the Aley (niobium), Rock Canyon (REE) and Wicheeda (REE) deposits, the company stated.
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