The Government of Canada has announced total funding of $7.5 million to support Canada’s first-ever rare earth elements (REE) processing facilities, to be located in Saskatchewan.
The funding was provided by Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), a branch of the government designed to diversify the economy across the Canadian Prairies. The money was split between Vital Metals Canada Ltd. and the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC).
Vital Metals received $5 million to install equipment and start processing bastnaesite concentrate to produce mixed rare earth carbonate at its new plant in Saskatoon, making it the only North American producer of mixed rare earth carbonate using ore from its own mine and helping to provide security for the global REE supply chain. The investment is an interest-free repayable contribution under the Jobs and Growth Fund, designed to help create jobs and position local economies for long-term growth.
The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) received $2.5 million in interest-free repayable funding under the Western Diversification Program to purchase equipment needed to establish a rare earth processing facility that produces mixed rare earth carbonite by processing monazite ore. It will be the first of its kind in North America, helping to pave the way for a REE supply chain in Saskatchewan and creating a model for future commercial resource development and expansion. The facility is located adjacent to the Vital Metals facility, laying the foundation for a rare earth hub in Saskatoon.
“As the world looks to secure access to critical minerals, Saskatchewan, and Canada, are well-positioned to meet that demand,” said the Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Research Council. “These projects showcase how Saskatchewan is emerging as a leader in sustainable resource development, powered by technological innovation.”