Hay River set for shipping boom with Nechalacho

Oil trucks leaving for Nechalacho mine. (Supplied by Bill Braden/Cheetah Resources Corp.)
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Hay River is set to become a distribution hub for the Nechalacho Rare Earth Resources Project, according to executives from Cheetah Resources.

Representatives from the mining company, including vice-president David Connelly, were at the Hay River town council meeting, laying out their plans for using Hay River’s port as one of the key points for distributing its ore down south.

The ore is being crushed with the mine’s new sorter before the company’s new Saskatchewan sorting facility is finished construction.

Ore will be shipped down from the mine via rail and leave Hay River via barge to the plant in Saskatchewan.

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Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Affairs David Connelly said in an email the mine’s operations would “significantly increase the marine, truck and rail freight through the Port of Hay River.”

“For us to this would be nice if this is a distribution hub once there’s a bit more activity up here,” said Matthew Edler, General Manager of Cheetah Resources.

“Barge route should be the most efficient way of getting — it is by far the most efficient way: it has the lowest carbon footprint, cheapest,” he added.

Basnaesite, the product produced at Nechalacho, is a big grouping of a bunch of rare earth metals. (Photo by MyTrueNorthNow.com.)

Ore will also be stored in Hay River in between shipments, rather than being shipped to the sorting plant in Saskatoon.

“Spills, I don’t want because that’s worth money to me,” Edler said. “There’s always a chance of accidents happening and we’ve got basically, basically the process if there is a spill is to collect it and get it back — so it’s a matter of a sweep up and store cleanup of it. But in itself, it’s not hazardous. It’s not toxic.”

Edler added the ore would look like bags of cement.

Hay River Mayor Kandis Jameson said she looked forward to working with the company in the future.

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