Despite conflicting results of a pre-feasibility study, Mayor Kelly Schofield is confident that Avalon Rare Metals Inc. will relocate its hydro-metallurgical plant to the former Pine Point mine.
A new release from Avalon states that “using this location offers some significant potential benefits for the Northwest Territories, however other alternatives in southern Canada remain to be considered.”
According to David Swisher, vice-president of Operations at Avalon, the decision is over a year away, but the company will be keeping it’s options open.
“We are doing just a scoping level review in and around the Edmonton area,” he said. “We have a lengthy process to go through.”
Swisher agreed that the Pine Point location would be ideal for several reasons, including recommendations from their First Nation’s partners.
“We recognize the opportunity the project can bring and the additional value of the hydro-metallurgical plant in the South Slave region,” said Swisher.
He also said that he will continue to work with the government and others in the NWT to keep the plant in the North.
“I’m confident we will be able to work something out,” he said.
Schofield believes that only positive things can come from having the hydro-metallurgical plant in Pine Point.
“I see it as very positive for the town of Hay River and the surrounding South Slave area,” he said. “I can see it being a really positive process to have the Avalon hydro-metallurgical facility this close to Hay River.”
He said that it is not only a win for Hay River, who will benefit from development, but for Avalon as well.
“There are so many positives,” he said. “I can’t think of any negatives to this.”