The proposed processing facility, which will be operated by the provincial government-backed Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC), is being developed to create a domestic rare earth element supply chain, said officials.
"Saskatchewan's new Rare Earth Processing Facility will be a catalyst to stimulate the resource sector in Saskatchewan and across Canada, providing the early-stage supply chain needed to generate cash-flow, investment and industrial growth of the sector," Premier Scott Moe said in a statement.
The conversion of REE ore to individual REE products will be carried out 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.
The province has targeted 2022 as an opening date for the facility, with construction to start this autumn.
"Saskatchewan has a globally recognized mining industry, workforce and culture with local companies already beginning to explore REE deposits both in Saskatchewan, and in surrounding provinces and territories," minister responsible for SRC, Jeremy Harrison said. "This facility will allow the REE industry to grow and create both immediate and long-term jobs."
The 69,000 square foot plant will be built in Saskatoon's Hudson Bay industrial area.