Saskatchewan Examiner

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Saskatchewan may become a “major producer” of rare earth minerals

Saskatchewan has the potential to be a "major producer" of rare earth minerals.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mike Crabtree sees Saskatchewan as a driving force in the rare earth elements industry.
  • According to him, Saskatchewan has all 17 rare earth elements. They can be found in cell phones, televisions, laptops, vehicles, and wind turbines.
  • According to Maurer, the world will need to manufacture “triple to quadruple” the amount of lithium it does now by 2025.

Mike Crabtree envisions Saskatchewan as a catalyst for the rare earth elements sector.

“Over the next ten years, the actual need for rare earths will rise like a hockey stick, and Saskatchewan has the opportunity to be a big producer,” said Crabtree, the president as well as CEO of the Saskatchewan Research Council.

Crabtree spoke on a panel at Saskatchewan Mining Week at Nutrien Tower in Saskatoon.

Saskatchewan has all 17 rare earth elements, according to him. Cell phones, televisions, laptops, automobiles, and wind turbines contain them.

Also read: Saskatchewan is on the right track, but COVID-19 ‘hasn’t yet gone’

The rare earth processing facility will open next year, which will cost $35 million and be the first of its kind in North America.

Crabtree believes that the West must develop its supply system for the products or become “totally dependent on China.”

According to Larry Long, chair of the Saskatchewan Mining Association, a lot of exploration is taking on in the province, which is good news for the mineral business.

Saskatchewan has the potential to be a "major producer" of rare earth minerals.
Saskatchewan has the potential to be a “major producer” of rare earth minerals. Image from iHeartRadio

Long also serves as Nutrien’s senior vice president of potash operations. He spoke about how his company is helping mitigate the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on global food security. The firm has increased its investment.

It increased potash production from 14 million to 15 million tonnes.

“We will have to help with food security in locations where fertilizer isn’t available,” Long added.

Prairie Lithium’s president and CEO, Zach Maurer, discussed the rising need for lithium. In southern Saskatchewan, the business seeks lithium brines and expands its lithium extraction method.

“Lithium resources in Saskatchewan have enormous potential.” He stated, “Just a gigantic future demand for lithium as well as a great potential to utilize these deposits in Saskatchewan.”

By 2025, according to Maurer, the world will need to generate “triple to quadruple” the quantity of lithium currently produced.

Source: CTV News

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