Pele Mountain Resources Inc. ("Pele" or the "Company") today announced an expansion of its business model to include recycling of high-grade rare earth bearing monazite, in Elliot Lake.
"We firmly believe that Canada can be a global leader in the sustainable production of critical rare earths. Key to realizing that vision is establishing a relatively low cost, early-to-market rare earth supply," stated Pele President and CEO Al Shefsky. "The very high grades of rare earths contained in monazite can facilitate substantial production from relatively low tonnage, allowing for sharply lower CAPEX and OPEX than a large-scale mine. The metallurgical processes are well-established, which can reduce both technical risk and ramp up times considerably."
The expansion of Pele's business model is designed to achieve relatively low cost, early-to-market critical rare earth production in Elliot Lake, Ontario, the same location as Pele's Eco Ridge Mine Rare Earth and Uranium Project ("Eco Ridge"). The monazite will be sourced from mineral sands mine tailings in countries that embrace sustainable mining practices and are allied trading partners with Canada.
"We appreciate the enthusiastic local support for Eco Ridge and the previous public expression of support from the Mayor and Council of the City of Elliot Lake," added Mr. Shefsky. "For years the Mayor has suggested that we consider recycling mine tailings as a sustainable approach to re-establish rare earth production, to create jobs and economic development in the community. Given prevailing market conditions, the expansion of our model to include recycling monazite is a natural evolution of that idea."
"Elliot Lake is Canada's only proven historic critical rare earth mining camp and offers many competitive advantages as the hub of an early-to-market rare earth supply chain," stated Rick Hamilton, Mayor of Elliot Lake. "We are encouraged by Pele's decision to build on our many strategic, operational, and logistical advantages to pursue this compelling business opportunity. We welcome responsible business development in Elliot Lake."
Pele is engaging with government, local First Nations, industry leaders, and academia to advance the sustainable development of Canada's first critical rare earth supply chain.
Following a recent round table discussion on sustainable development in the Territory, which included Pele's participation, Chief Isadore Day, Wiindawtegowinini of Serpent River First Nation stated, "Our vision is to move forward together in the Territory and to ensure that any development advances in a way that safeguards the environment and delivers benefits that can support a good life for our people. Our Treaty with the Crown remains sacred".
Mr. Shefsky concluded, "Commercial processing of monazite has been achieved by several companies and was historically a primary source of rare earths. We have long characterized the goal of being early-to-market with critical rare earths outside of China, as a 'race'. We believe that this expansion of our business plan will help us to win that race in Canada and, ultimately, support the development of Pele's rare earth and uranium mine at Eco Ridge as markets improve."