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Rare Earth Processing Facility

Canada's First Rare Earth Processing Facility

The Government of Saskatchewan and SRC are excited to announce the development of the SRC Rare Earth Processing Facility - the first-of-its-kind in Canada - laying the foundation for a Rare Earth Element (REE) supply chain in Saskatchewan and forming an industry model for future commercial REE resource expansion in the province. Read the News Release. 

The Facility will be able to process both main hard rock ores (Bastnaesite and Monazite) and in the future, will also be capable of processing Uranium Raffinate concentrate, a rich source of REE from Saskatchewan’s uranium industry. Read our fact sheet and FAQs.

The Facility is expected to be fully operational in late 2022 with construction beginning this fall. 

SRC employs world-class REE experts and is a leader in the development of processing technologies. We are working closely with mining companies in Saskatchewan, Canada and globally on the concentration of REE ore. Learn more about our REE services

In the news

  • Search Minerals and SRC Enter Into Memorandum of Understanding - Globe Newswire
  • New Rare Earth Element Division announced at SRC - scroll down to see our REE leadership and experts
  • Vital Metals (VML) signs binding term sheet, through its subsidiary Cheetah Resources, with SRC to negotiate building and operating a rare earth extraction plant in Saskatoon, Canada - The Market Herald
  • Mike Crabtree (SRC President and CEO) talks rare earths and more with Senator Pamela Wallin - No Nonsense with Pamela Wallin
  • Rare earth element processing facility to be built in Sask. - CBC
  • Sask. to build Canada's first REE plant - Mining Magazine
  • Saskatchewan gov’t commits to rare earth processing plant by 2022 - The Northern Miner

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“With its world-leading REE expertise, SRC is already working with industrial partners to develop company-specific REE concentration facilities in Saskatchewan, which is the precursor process to full REE processing. This Facility will allow for an environmentally sustainable, reliable, and strategic supply of REEs to be produced outside of China.”

- Mike Crabtree, SRC President and CEO

Interested in bidding on work?

SRC Purchasing handles all requests for proposals, estimates and quotations to solicit bids for procurement contracts related to this Facility. Available opportunities will be posted on SaskTenders (Organization Type: Crown Corporation > Saskatchewan Research Council). 

For more information, please contact SRC Purchasing by email or phone at 1-306-933-5400. 

You can also view this presentation that provides an overview of the facility. 

REE Processing

The conversion of REE ore to individual REE products is done in two main stages. The first is the concentration of ore to mixed REE Carbonate. The second is the more complex separation stage that converts the mixed REE Carbonate to commercial pure-grade REEs. The Facility will address both stages of REE processing. 

  • Canada has some of the largest resources of REEs in the world, estimated at over 15 million tonnes of rare earth oxides.

  • REEs are used in a variety of industrial applications, including electronics, clean energy, aerospace, automotive and defence.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few FAQs, but you can find the complete list here.

In August 2020, the Government of Saskatchewan announced $31 million in funding for a Rare Earth Processing Facility, which will be operated by the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC). It will be the first-of-its-kind in Canada and will begin to establish a fully commercial Rare Earth Element (REE) technology hub in Saskatchewan, forming an industry model for future commercial REE initiatives and supply chain development. 

A private sector landlord is handling the construction of the building, which will be leased to SRC. The funding will be used for specialized equipment and building requirements within that structure. As well, SRC is contributing an additional $4 million in funding.

Yes, we have a lot of interest from the Canadian Rare Earth industry and Saskatchewan’s uranium industry. There are three rare earth element and uranium companies with Saskatchewan deposits that have put their support behind SRC’s REE processing facility.

Initially, SRC will produce a mixed Rare Earth Carbonate from the Monazite Processing Unit and separated Rare Earth Oxides from the Separation Unit (Lanthium Oxide, Cerium Oxide, Praesodynium Oxide, Neodynium Oxide, a mixed REE Oxide of the middle group of REEs and a mixed group of REEs from the heavy group). SRC will also produce refined metal ingots and potentially alloys and magnets in the future. 

 

Contact us

Questions? Get in touch with our team.

Our Rare Earth Experts
muhammad imran src

Dr. Muhammad Imran is the Vice-President of SRC's REE Division. He started as a research engineer in the EOR Field Development Business Unit and then was assigned the responsibilities of Business Unit Manager in 2013. He then became the Director of Operations EOR Processes and Field Development. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering. His career highlights at SRC include many research projects, such as innovative proofs of concept, development and optimization of medium and heavy oil EOR processes, lab-scale equipment design, and physical and mathematical modelling.

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Dr. Jack Zhang is the Director of SRC's REE Division. He has over 20 years of extensive industrial, engineering, operation and research experience. His major areas of focus include the processing of rare earth, uranium, potash and phosphate, rare metals, lithium, industrial minerals, as well as tailings/mine water/effluent treatment. At SRC, he has led and supervised numerous mineral processing, metallurgical testing, optimization and R&D projects for global clients. 

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Dr. Baodong Zhao has more than 25 years of experience in metallurgical engineering and project management, particularly in rare earth mineral processing and hydrometallurgy. Baodong has led and participated in laboratory and pilot plant test work, as well as Preliminary Economic Assessments covering sample preparation, mineralogical characterization, beneficiation, hydrometallurgy and REE separation.

Additional Resources

Rare Earth Processing Facility Fact Sheet - View

Rare Earth Processing Facility FAQs - View

SRC Presentation to SIMSA Members - View

SRC Rare Earth Services - Learn more

Strategic metals on horizon as SRC looks for next 'big idea' - Read more

Saskatchewan - The Next Big Producer of Rare Earth Elements? - Read more

Toronto mining company eyes rare earths near Uranium City - Read more

SRC Rare Earth Separation Pilot Plant Part of Appia Energy Proposal - Read more

Can innovation in rare earths solve processing challenges? - Read more