Vital Metals’ wholly owned Canadian subsidiary Cheetah Resource has inked a definitive mining contract with local company Det’on Cho Nahanni Construction for work to commence at the North T Zone at its Nechalacho rare earths project in Northwest Territories, Canada.
The announcement follows the Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) both parties executed in January 2020, which established Det’on Cho Nahinni Construction as the preferred Mining Services Contractor.
Det’on Cho Nahanni Construction is 51% owned by Det’on Cho Corporation, which is in turn owned by the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.
Vital Metals Managing Director Geoff Atkins said the scope of work under the mining contract includes mining, site clearing, preparation of retention pond, site roads, ROM pad, plus crushing and screening, adding that Det’on Cho Nahanni Construction will mobilise to site via ice road by the end of March.
“The signing of our mining contract in Yellowknife is an important step forward for Vital as we move toward production at Nechalacho, and we are pleased to be working with Det’on Cho Nahanni Construction Ltd, which is owned by local First Nations people,” he continued.
“We are developing Nechalacho using the most sustainable methods possible which includes the use of local labour so that we can support the communities surrounding our project.”
“Having finalised an offtake agreement with REEtec earlier this month, we are pleased to have executed this contract with Det’on Cho Nahanni Construction as it allows us to continue to progress towards production at Nechalacho, which is on track for the coming months.”
The North T Zone is the first deposit to be mined at Nechalacho, with Vital progressing to rare earth oxide production in CY2021.
Under the contract, the North T Zone at Nechalacho will be mined as a small open pit, with Det’on Cho Nahanni Construction to undertake mining and crushing during a single campaign between March and September 2021, under the control and direction of Cheetah Resources.
Vital Metals (ASX:VML) is an Australian explorer and developer focussing on rare earths, technology metals and gold projects. The company’s projects are located across a range of jurisdictions in Canada, Africa and Germany.