Rare Earths Riches Could Give Canada Competitive, Political Advantages
Source: Dorothy Kosich, Mineweb††(4/30/12)
"Canada's REE richness could transform it from being the U.S.'s unassuming neighbor into a powerhouse in terms of political leverage and influence, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce suggests."
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has jumped on the bandwagon to promote Canadian rare earth projects and deposits, suggesting Canada's REE resources could give the nation increased "political leverage and influence" in the search for rare earths outside of China.
In the report "Canadian Rare Earth Deposits Can Offer a Substantial Competitive Advance," the Canadian Chamber advocates an "opportunity for Canada to start punching above its weight in leveraging what is often referred to as the 'oil of the 21st century.'"
Chamber CEO Perrin Beatty observed, "Canada has 1.1 billion (B) pounds of rare earths locked in black shale deposits (the Alberta Black Shale Project) worth an estimated $206B. In addition, several other Canadian mines across the country show great potential."
"We have been blessed with great geology and we have a tremendous opportunity to turn out resource richness into a significant competitive advantage," he added.
"With the Japanese, Americans and Europeans now searching for ways to counter China's monopoly, Canada is in a very enviable position," Beatty stressed.
In its report, the chamber noted Canada has 1.1B pounds of rare earth locked in the Alberta Black Shale Project, that were previously not recoverable unless large amounts of cyanide and arsenic were used to liquefy the oresó"a process that is considered dangerous and illegal in many parts of the world."
"Now a new, more cost-effective and environmentally friendly technology that uses water, air and microbes (a technique known as bioheap leaching) can be used to release the rare earths from the black shale deposits," the report said.
The chamber mentioned several other Canadian mines that show great potential, including Avalon Rare Metals' Nechalacho REE project in the Northwest Territories, Great Western Minerals' Hoidas Lake project in northern Saskatchewan, Midland Exploration's exploration project in Ytterby, Pele Mountain Resources' Eco Ridge Mine uranium and REE project in Elliot Lake, Ontario, and Matamec Exploration's Zeus property in the Temiscamingue region of Quebec.
Other rare earth projects cited in the report include Quest Rare Earth Mineral's rare earth projects in the Strange Lake and Misery Lake areas of northeastern Quebec, Cache Exploration's exploration of Welsford rare earth properties in New Brunswick and the Cross Hills and Louil Hills rare earth properties in Newfoundland, Kirrin Resources' exploration projects in Newfoundland, Labrador and Quebec, and Forum Uranium's North Thelon project in Nunavut.
Dorothy Kosich, Mineweb