Rare Earths in Canada: Quebec Flourishes with Untapped Heavy Rare Earths

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By Christine Gaylican | February 4, 2014 12:51 PM EST

 

Canada's Quebec have enough heavy rare earths minerals to spur the demand for electric cars in the future, a study made by the KPMG-SECOR commissioned by Matamec Explorations Inc. and Toyotsu Rare Earth Canada (TRECan) had revealed recently.


China Opposes Release of WTO’s Rare Earths Report Favouring US, Japan and EU (Reuters)

The study's finding is quite significant to the electric car industry struggling to tap the rare earths materials in China. Quebec has the potential to become a strategic producer of these critical resources with rare earths exploration companies such as Matamec spearheading its development.

"The electrification of transportation is now the center of Quebec's development strategy and Matamec is well positioned to become the first heavy rare earth mining project in Quebec and Canada," says André Gauthier, President and CEO of Matamec said in an emailed statement. "Kipawa would, alone, produce 9% of the world consumption of heavy rare earths outside China."

Electric automobiles, which could be the answer to lower the carbon dioxide emissions, are, however, dependent on heavy rare earths.

Quebec is among the pioneers in Canada in regards to the implementation of the necessary infrastructure for electric cars, such as workplace plug-in stations. One of the challenges of the production of electric cars is that over 95% of the heavy rare earths are produced in China, resulting in a significant risk of supply of these materials.
 
According to the results of the KPMG-SECOR study, a reasonable scenario in the Quebec market would see 165,000 electric vehicles by 2020, adding $107 million to Quebec's economy and creating 1,800 jobs. In addition, about 181 million liters of gasoline would be substituted by the use of 256 GWh of electricity and CO2 emissions would be reduced by 415 kilotons. Note that the Quebec government 2011-2020 Action Plan for Electric Vehicles sets the goal of reaching 300,000 electric cars in Quebec by 2020.
 
For the SECOR-KPMG study
 
Matamec Explorations Inc. is a junior mining exploration company whose main focus is in developing the Kipawa HREE deposit with TRECan. 
 
In parallel, the Company is exploring more than 35 km of strike length in the Kipawa Alkalic Complex for rare earths-yttrium-zirconium-niobium-tantalum mineralization on its Zeus property.  Since 2007, Matamec discovered eight (8) new rare earth showings. Particularly, it drilled the PB-PS Zone in the fall of 2012 and identified Eudialyte-Mosandrite/Yttro-Titanite/Britholite mineralization similar to those found at the HREE Kipawa Deposit. This type of mineralization is presently known over a length of 200 metres and is open laterally and at depth. This mineralized zone is 2.3 km SW of the Kipawa deposit and a soil anomaly seems to connect the two. The Company plans to drill these extensions later this year.
 
The Company is also exploring for gold, base metals and platinum group metals. Its gold portfolio includes the Matheson JV property located along strike and in close proximity to the Hoyle Pond Mine in the prolific gold mining camp of Timmins, Ontario. In Quebec, the Company is exploring for lithium and tantalum on its Tansim property and for precious and base metals on its Valmont and Vulcain properties. 

Matamec signed in August 2013 an option agreement where Canada Strategic Metals can acquire an interest of up to 50% in the Sakami gold project, located in the James Bay region of northern Quebec by committing $2.25 million in exploration work including $500,000 in the first year of drilling - assays will be upcoming soon.

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China Opposes Release of WTO’s Rare Earths Report Favouring US, Japan and EU (Reuters)
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