Driven by new demand for electric vehicles, as well as wind turbines, Avalon Advanced Materials is re-activating its Nechalacho Rare Earth Elements Project.

The project is located at Thor Lake, a rare-earth metals deposit, about 5 km north of the Hearne channel of the Great Slave Lake, and won an award last year for its use of solar energy. 

The site contains significant lithium resources “that historically were not considered an economic opportunity, but now deserve a more thorough evaluation,” a press release from the mineral development company reads.

Powerful magnets made of rare earth metals neodymium and praseodymium are used in clean technology, and can be used to make electric motors and generators.

“This includes motors for electric vehicles, which can require 5-10kg of rare earth magnets per vehicle. The growing market for electric vehicles, especially in China, has created new demand for these high strength magnets, resulting in rising prices for neodymium and praseodymium, both now selling for over $100/kg in oxide form,” the press release states.

Avalon is currently conducting an independent study funded jointly by the Government of the Northwest Territories to identify benefits, concerns and other stakeholders who could benefit from the development of an infrastructure corridor that could connect Yellowknife to the Hearne Channel via a junction with the Ingraham Trail.