The $35 million dollar facility was announced in the
summer of 2020 by the Government of Saskatchewan.
The facility will be located in Saskatoon, Sask.,
and completion is slated for the fall of 2022.
magnets used in clean technologies. SRC will
work with the mining industry to secure this
feed stock from across Saskatchewan, Canada
An intermediate concentrate of mixed rare
earth carbonates will be produced from the
concentration plant and further processed in
a separation plant to produce separated rare
earth oxides, as the market requires. These
will be sold by SRC and further refined and
processed to provide the inputs that original
equipment manufacturers (OEMs) require.
The treatment capacity of the plant will be
3,000 tonnes per year, producing an initial
product: mixed rare earth carbonate. Part of
the mixed rare earth carbonate will be fed to
the separation plant to produce approximately
500 tonnes of separated, individual rare earth
oxides, excluding cerium.
SRC’s Rare Earth Processing Facility will
follow the most stringent operating standards.
To minimize the risk for the environment, the
plant will be designed to have zero liquid discharge,
which means that there will be no solution
waste streams that are released into the
environment. All solid waste will be handled
and disposed of properly following regulations
and procedures, as SRC and mining companies
in Saskatchewan currently do.
SRC has decades of experience in testing
and development of concentration and separation
technologies of REEs from various minerals,
as well as operational experience. With
mining clients in Canada and across the world,
SRC has developed and piloted many REE
concentration and separation processes. This
experience, combined with being located within
Saskatchewan’s world-class mining jurisdiction
that has a vibrant and sustainable uranium
industry, are key assets to future success. The
uranium industry also produces a REE-rich
solution waste stream (containing mainly so
called “heavy” REEs) that can be an additional
feed source for the plant, as markets require.
SRC currently offers a large variety of REE
services through existing service lines and facilities.
• Rare earth processing technology
development and commercialization
• Uranium tailings processing and treatment;
recovery of thorium and uranium
• Validation and demonstration of rare earth
processing technologies in bench, pilot and
• Rare earth production from bastnaesite,
apatite and uranium processing waste
Once the facility is operational, SRC will be
able to offer a number of other services to industry
including potential toll separation of individual
rare earth elements and potential toll
processing of monazite. This will mean that
mining companies around the world will have
the option to sell their feedstock to a North
American Rare Earth Processing Facility for
the first time.
In the future, SRC plans to use this facility
as a starting point for the creation of an REE
technology hub, which will likely include developing
downstream and upstream aspects
of the REE supply chain. Future development
also includes new applications for lanthanum
and cerium. In order to do this, SRC is currently
developing capabilities for downstream rare
earth product development and the production
of magnets and alloys.
The future certainly looks bright for the rare
earth elements industry in North America and
this facility and the proposed REE technology
hub will play a key part in securing a supply
chain right within Canada.
For more information, please
SASKATCHEWAN RESEARCH COUNCIL
COURTESY OF THE SASKATCHEWAN RESEARCH COUNCIL
LUDMILA YAGOVITINA / 123RF
40 Think BIG | Quarter 1 2021 | saskheavy.ca