Vital Metals (ASX:VML) secure backing for Nechalacho REE

Vital Metals (ASX:VML) secure backing for Nechalacho REE

October 27, 2023 Off By Tom Duggan

Vital Metals has secured a cornerstone investment from global rare earth leader Shenghe Resources to establish its leadership team and progress development and studies of its large-scale Canadian and emerging Tanzanian rare earth assets.

Already established as Canada’s first rare earths miner from the world-class Tardiff deposit at its Nechalacho Project in the Northwest Territories, Vital has belief in becoming the world’s first producer of commercial quantities of light and heavy rare earths and lowest cost producer of mixed rare earth oxide outside of China.

And the belief it now has the international backing and team to make it happen after a leadership reboot.

Former Haywood Securities head of mining Geordie Mark is now in as its new Managing Director alongside veteran mining Chartered Accountant Lara Iacusso as Chief Financial Officer.

Richard Crookes has also been appointed as Vital’s permanent Chairman, and he said it was a strategic investment that will allow the company to progress its development plans with a refreshed management team focused on the goal.

“In addition, we have secured a partner in the Wigu Hill Project in Tanzania which also has potential to be an important rare earth deposit with further exploration and development,” Mr Crookes said.

Shenghe Chief Executive Officer Wang Xiaohui said it had recognised the potential of Tardiff to be a world-class, large-scale, and long-life producer, and was excited by the work completed to date.

“Our investment also allows Shenghe to gain exposure to the Wigu Hill Project, which is also a promising but earlier stage rare earths deposit. We look forward to working collaboratively with the Vital team to assist with development of these important assets,” Mr Xiaohui said.

The less-advanced Tanzanian asset is an intriguing prospect, with widespread light rare earth mineralisation and only two out of ten known targets drilled while holding a high-grade Inferred estimate of 3.3Mt at 2.6% LREO.

But the true prize is at Nechalacho, its standing 1.67 million tonnes of TREO estimate, and the compelling evidence it could be one of the few low-cost operations outside of China as the minerals superpower continues to flex its muscles with export controls.

And Vital see more than raw materials on the cards and will explore the potential to develop an integrated North American supply chain and be at the epicentre of its rare earth industry.

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