Vancouver, B.C. March 7, 2023 – Search Minerals Inc. (“Search Minerals”) (TSXV: SMY | OTCQB: SHCMF) is pleased to announce that the Government of Canada has contributed $5 million in non-dilutive support to Search Minerals via a Contribution Agreement which will be used to fund the construction and operation of a demonstration plant for rare earth extraction and recovery. The total project cost is estimated at approximately $9.3 million with a further $1 million of funding under application from other sources. Search Minerals’ contribution to the construction costs is expected to be approximately $3.3 million.
The demonstration plant will process ~20 tonnes of rare earth concentrate prepared from 72 tonnes of Deep Fox and Foxtrot mineralization using Wet High Intensity Magnetic Separation (Search Minerals News Release dated September 16, 2022). The work will be completed by SGS Canada and completion of the program is expected in early 2024.
The funding of the demonstration plant helps Search Minerals to:
- Confirm application of the Direct Extraction Process to the rare earth concentrate materials
- Obtain engineering data for feasibility study completion, expected in 2024
- Prepare ~1 tonne of high purity mixed rare earth carbonate precipitate to be used to validate separation of individual rare earth products
“These funds will help us to move toward a bankable feasibility study assessment of rare earth mining, extraction and separation in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Chairman and Interim President and CEO Leo Power. “The demand for “magnet” rare earth elements such as neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium is increasingly rapidly driven by the demand for permanent magnets, for electric vehicle traction motors, wind turbines for power generation and for robots. This demonstration plant program will position Search as a reliable provider of rare earth materials to support a Canadian and North American supply chain for these critical materials.”
Mr. Power added, “We thank Natural Resources Canada, the Government of Canada and our other financial supporters for helping to fund this critical step in the transition of Search from explorer to developer.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, said, “Canadian innovators are leading the way towards a cleaner future. Today’s investment of $5 million in Search Minerals will help to advance the development of a dynamic and competitive critical minerals sector through the development and demonstration of innovative processing technologies. This means good jobs for workers, more investment in Canadian innovation, and lower emissions across the country - all part of our plan to build a cleaner Canada and a prosperous, sustainable economy that works for everyone.”
Search Minerals is also working on establishing an important collaboration agreement with Memorial University and the College of the North Atlantic to support the Demonstration Plant project and to build capacity and knowledge in rare earth processing in Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada.
About Search Minerals Inc.
Search Minerals is focused on finding and developing Critical Rare Earths Elements (CREE), Zirconium (Zr) and Hafnium (Hf) resources within the emerging Port Hope Simpson – St. Lewis CREE District of South East Labrador. Search controls two deposits (Foxtrot and Deep Fox), two drill ready prospects (Fox Meadow and Silver Fox) and numerous other REE prospects, including Fox Valley, Foxy Lady and Awesome Fox, along a 64 km long belt forming a REE District in Labrador. Search has completed a preliminary economic assessment report for DEEPFOX and FOXTROT. Search is also working on three exploration prospects along the belt which include: FOX MEADOW, SILVER FOX and AWESOME FOX.
Search Minerals has continued to optimize our patented Hydrometallurgy Direct Extraction Process technology with the support from the Department of Industry, Energy and Technology, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and from the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency. We have completed two pilot plant operations and produced highly purified mixed rare earth carbonate concentrate and mixed REO concentrate for separation and refining. We also recognize the continued support by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for its Junior Exploration Program.
Search Minerals was selected to participate in the Government of Canada Accelerated Growth Service (“AGS”) initiative, which supports high growth companies. AGS, as a ‘one-stop shop’ model, provides Search with coordinated access to Government of Canada resources as Search continues to move quickly to production and contribute to the establishment of a stable and secure rare earth element North American and European supply chain.
For further information, please contact:
Chairman of the Board
Dr. David Dreisinger
Director and Vice President of Metallurgy
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Cautionary Statement Regarding “Forward-Looking” Statements:
Except for the statements of historical fact, this news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation that is based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this news release. "Forward-looking information" in this news release includes information about the Company’s exploration and development plans and the timing thereof, and other forward-looking information. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, results of exploration work, the ability to secure any required funding, receipt of all required regulatory approval and the ability to secure the necessary resources to complete the planned exploration work.
The forward-looking information in this news release reflects the current expectations, assumptions and/or beliefs of the Company based on information currently available to the Company. In connection with the forward-looking information contained in this news release, the Company has made assumptions about the Company's financial condition and development plans do not change as a result of unforeseen events, and that the Company will receive all required regulatory approvals.
Although the Company believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking information are reasonable, forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such information due to the inherent uncertainty therein. The Company does not assume any obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements, unless and until required by applicable securities laws. Additional information identifying risks and uncertainties is contained in the Company's filings with the Canadian securities regulators, which filings are available at www.sedar.com.