Changing Fate of REEs in West

At the moment China has a digital stranglehold on uncommon earth parts, however this Canadian firm is on the brink of capitalize on the downstream worth of processing the REEs it’s mining.

Purifying water with electrodialysis. Diagnosing illnesses with MRIs. Feeding extra individuals utilizing higher fertilizers. Lowering emissions with wind generators and electrical autos.  

These applied sciences all have the potential to enhance life on Earth. And all of them require on a dependable provide of uncommon earth parts (REEs). However uncommon earth parts are … uncommon, in that they’re arduous to get and in excessive demand.

What Nation Has the Most Uncommon Earth Components?


With 60% of the worldwide mine manufacturing of REEs centered in China, the availability chain to North America and different areas is much from assured, as China accounts for greater than 85% of the processing capability.

Protection Metals Corp. (DEFN:TSX.V; DFMTF:OTCQB; 35D:FSE) is banking that its 100%-owned Wicheeda Mission in British Columbia, Canada, will assist appropriate that imbalance.

Wicheeda yielded a sturdy 2021 PEA (preliminary financial evaluation) that demonstrated an after-tax web current worth ([email protected]%) of CA$517 million. The mission’s 43-101 technical report exhibits a 5 million-tonne indicated useful resource at 2.95% TREO (complete uncommon earth oxide) and 29.5 million-tonne inferred useful resource, averaging 1.83% TREO calculated from 4,000 meters of drilling.

Streetwise caught up with just lately appointed Protection Metals’ President Dr. Luisa Moreno, who’s a physics engineer with a PhD in supplies science and mechanics. Moreno notes that the PEA doesn’t embody outcomes from an extra 5,300-meter drill program accomplished in 2021. “We’re assured that this can enhance our measured and indicated useful resource,” stated Moreno. The numerous upside to REE spot costs and forecast demand are extra constructive indicators for the corporate and the REE sector as a complete.

REEs From China a ‘Ticking Time Bomb’


The U.S. authorities has taken discover of the imbalance of entry to the weather and on Tuesday introduced a $35 million Division of Protection grant being given to MP Supplies Corp. (MP:NYSE) to separate and course of REEs at its facility in Mountain Move, Calif. MP Supplies can even announce one other $700 million funding to create greater than 350 jobs within the everlasting magnet sector by 2024.

Uncommon earth minerals are sometimes utilized in weapons analysis and within the F-35 jet and precision guided munitions, and they’re additionally used to make everlasting magnet motors for electrical autos that might be key to transform the Pentagon’s non-tactical automobile fleet to zero emissions, Reuters stated.

Having most REEs sourced from China is a “ticking time bomb,” stated Bob Moriarty of 321Gold.

“If the governments of Canada and the U.S. don’t get their act collectively, the shortage of domestically sourced REE will destroy … EV manufacturing within the West. Motion must happen quickly.”

— Bob Moriarty, 321Gold

“You may say China has a stranglehold on REE, simply as they did with microchips,” Moriarty stated. “If the governments of Canada and the U.S. don’t get their act collectively, the shortage of domestically sourced REE will destroy … EV manufacturing within the West. Motion must happen quickly.”

Protection Metals stated it initiatives it can produce 25,000 tonnes of uncommon earth oxides per yr at Wicheeda, or about 10% of the world’s present manufacturing.

With the U.S. formally rejoining the Paris environmental settlement, an editorial by The Hill known as for a “Marshall Plan-scale initiative” for vital minerals.

“We want larger interagency collaboration in Washington, expanded schooling in regards to the procurement of ‘tech metals’ to realize the twenty first century’s inexperienced industrial revolution and, in the end, larger funding from coverage makers to make sure that business doers could make the dream a actuality,” the editorial stated.

Are REEs a Good Funding?


Moreno notes that of the greater than 200 minerals identified to include REEs, solely a handful are presently identified to be economically viable from a processing standpoint. Two of these—monazite and bastnaesite — are notably wealthy in REE, and determine dominantly at Wicheeda.

Protection Metals additionally has an edge in processing. First is the standard of the ore it plans to mine.  The typical grade of the ore at Wicheeda is 2.33% TREO. “As a result of now we have coarse grained REE minerals with excessive REE metallic content material, we will improve by means of direct floatation to about 40% TREO,” Moreno stated. “Different REE deposits of comparable grade are upgradable solely to 10% or 15% TREO. This give us the benefit of having the ability to course of our ore at a lot decrease value than others.”

Second is an MOU Protection Metals signed in August 2021 with Sinosteel, a number one Chinese language REE processor. Byron King, who follows the REE sector carefully (and is a Protection Metals shareholder) defined that “Whereas all of us acknowledge the significance of breaking freed from China’s dominance within the REE sector—each mining and processing—we even have to acknowledge that China is the place the experience lives. If you wish to study to bounce, you want to rent a dancing instructor. Sinosteel could be that instructor for Protection Metals.”

Moreno is even bolder: “Our aim is to step by step change into a vertically built-in REE purveyor, from mining to processing, separating and, doubtlessly, delivering the precise metallic. It will enable us to retain extra of the worth of the commodity we carry out of the bottom.”

The technique of getting as far down into the upstream is important, King stated. “The top customers of those REEs have very particular necessities. Filling these wants begins on the mouth of the mine, however it’s essential to take the rock and switch it into the highest-value materials you may get.”

Protection Metals’ latest addition of John Goode, P.Eng., to its Advisory Board deepens the agency’s processing acumen. “John has already contributed considerably to metallurgical course of improvement at Wicheeda, and we anticipate him to proceed to carry his appreciable experience to bear in including worth to the mission as we advance towards a pre-feasibility examine,” Moreno stated. Goode’s substantial processing experience ranges from work finished in Canada and the U.S., to China, Australia, and Russia.

Wicheeda Primed to Ship Extra Catalysts


Wicheeda, situated 80 kilometers from Prince George, British Columbia, advantages from ample infrastructure. Highways, logging roads, fuel and electrical traces facilitate operations. Close by air, rail and seaport connections present transport choices. “All of those components are in our favor, in comparison with different REE initiatives in areas farther to the north, like Québec and the Northwest Territories,” Moreno stated. Lastly, it’s in a pleasant mining jurisdiction, with a talented workforce at hand.

That workforce can be saved busy with a redoubling of drilling efforts, each in-field and expansionary, that Protection Metals has deliberate for 2022. The agency is also ready for assay outcomes from the 29-hole drilling program over 5,340-meters that weren’t included within the PEA. These outcomes are anticipated in early 2022.

Protection Metals’ market cap is about $40 million. It has about 161 million shares excellent, or about 200 million with warrants and choices. About 5% of the corporate is owned by administration and insiders.



1) Diane Fraser compiled this text for Streetwise Studies LLC and supplies companies to Streetwise Studies as an unbiased contractor. She or members of her family personal securities of the next firms talked about within the article: None. She and members of her family are paid by the next firms talked about on this article: None. Her firm has a monetary relationship with the next firms referred to on this article: None.

2) Byron King’s disclosures: I, or members of my fast family or household, personal securities of the next firms talked about on this article: Protection Metals; shares have been bought on the open market. I personally am, or members of my fast family or household are, paid by the next firms talked about on this article: None. My firm has a monetary relationship with the next firms talked about on this article: None. I’m not providing private funding recommendation in any method, to anybody.

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