Quest Rare Minerals eyes development of rare earths mine
Quest Rare Minerals Ltd. announced that it will proceed with plans for its $2.5 billion Strange Lake rare earths mine in northern Quebec.
When developed, the Strange Lake deposit would be one of the largest heavy rare-earths mines and processing facilities in the world, according to a new prefeasibility study, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported.
"We are very pleased with the results of this prefeasibility study," said Peter Cashin, Quest's president and chief executive officer. "Our consultants have been conservative with the assumptions used, and we are satisfied that the returns are very healthy for such a capital-intensive industrial plan."
Quest Rare Minerals and other companies are competing to jump-start rare-earths development in North America to offset restrictions from China, the world's top rare-earths producer.
Quest Rare Minerals is searching for financial backers for its project and said it signed a letter of intent in July to sell minerals from the site to a New York ceramics company.
"The Strange Lake project has the potential to provide an important base for establishing a major North American industrial sector," Cashin said. The project will "address the chronic [heavy rare-earth] supply deficit over a long period of time"