Quest Rare Minerals Ltd. (TSX:QRM) (Quest) a company that aims to become the first integrated producer of rare earth metal oxides in Canada and Tugliq, a Quebec-based energy provider, have joined forces to develop an integrated renewable energy solution at its Strange Lake complex mining project. Located in northern Québec region on the Québec-Newfoundland and Labrador border, construction of the project is expected to begin early 2019.
With the financial support of the Government of Quebec for the feasibility studies through the ÉcoPerformance program, Quest and Tugliq are working together to make the mine a reference site in terms of energy production. The chosen solution will be among the most innovative and will become a benchmark in the mining industry.
In addition, the project will allow diversification of the energy mix on a territory which, due to a lack of alternatives, is dependent on diesel to generate power. The Strange Lake complex project will then become the second flagship project to develop renewable energies in the Plan Nord area after Glencore (Raglan Mine), where Tugliq built a large industrial wind turbine in 2014. The 3 MW wind turbine power will contribute to a substantial reduction in diesel consumption and electricity expenses. To capitalize on the previous achievements of the Raglan Mine project, Tugliq will continue to work with its partners, particularly Hatch, to complete the bankable feasibility study and implementation plan.
The recently concluded agreement furthers Quest's commitment to adopt exacting sustainable development standards by designing a vertically integrated logistics chain where clean technologies are incorporated into the early stages of project design. In this way, Quest will be able to reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to the climate change and sustainable development objectives of Québec and Canadian governments. Earlier this year, Quest received a financial contribution from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to support the testing and calibration of Quest's eco-friendly "Selective Thermal Sulphation (STS)"1 process parameters at an industrial scale. This sustainable process will enable Quest to produce high purity mixed rare earth oxides from the mineral extracted from the Strange Lake complex and phosphor powder from recycled lamps at its Bécancour facility.
1 Patent Pending
Rare earth metals are strategic minerals, in particular because they are essential elements for many clean technologies, including efficient electric motors, light-emitting diodes and wind turbines. The rare earth metal oxides produced by Quest will be used to a large extent to meet the growing demand for high performance permanent magnets.
"We are very pleased to partner with Tugliq, who has leading edge expertise in the implementation of energy solutions under demanding conditions and unique environments. We are also very proud of this agreement, which demonstrates that an exemplary environmental solution is possible and thus allows Quest's global project to become even more socially acceptable and environmentally responsible, "commented Pierre Lortie, Quest's Executive Chairman of the Board.
"TUGLIQ welcomes this opportunity to work closely with a partner like Quest. This exciting new project marks the beginning of a major transition in the energy mix of the autonomous networks in the northern Quebec region and in Canada. Together, we will set new standards for local renewable energy and implement sustainable practices in a promising sector: that of rare earths, "concluded Laurent Abbatiello, President and CEO of Tugliq Énergie.