Nechalacho Rare Earth Demonstration Project
Project Cheetah Resources Ltd.’s Nechalacho Rare Earth Demonstration Project, located 100 kilometres southeast of Yellowknife, is entering its production phase. Cheetah is the first Canadian producer of rare earth element oxides, which are used in technologies that are helping move Canada to a low carbon economy, such as the manufacturing of electric vehicles, renewable energy production and electronics.
CanNor’s support for this project helped fund the purchase of an optical sensor-based sorting machine and the associated engineering and set-up costs. This innovative technology for ore sorting is being used on site to produce a rare earth element concentrate prior to shipping it for further processing. This process significantly reduces the amount of water and diesel used, and eliminates the use of chemicals and tailings from the mining process.
Cheetah anticipates that this demonstration project will indicate the economic, social and environmental feasibility of extracting rare earth element ores and producing a concentrate, which may lead to a scaled-up mine in the NWT. The company, whose Canadian head office is in Yellowknife, hopes to generate new exports originating in the NWT and out to the circumpolar world and Europe.
Cheetah is working with the Det’on Cho Nahanni Construction Corporation, owned by the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN), which is managing and operating on-site extraction activities. The YKDFN are one of the first Indigenous groups in Canada to be responsible for mineral extraction on their traditional territory.
CanNor’s investment in this project supports the sustainable mining of critical minerals, and helps Cheetah and the Det'on Cho Corporation seize on an important opportunity to work together on developing a local resource project in NWT. This project is helping stimulate the economy and creating employment opportunities for Northerners and Indigenous peoples. The Nechalacho Rare Earth demonstration project is expected to create 22 jobs, expand 5 jobs and maintain 2 jobs.