David Swisher, vice-president of Operations for Avalon, stood before Hay River Town Council on Monday evening, informing the mayor, councillors and a full gallery of the ongoing process involving the Pine Point mine site.
The proposed plan would see a hydrometallurgical plant established at Pine Point, to process the rare earth metals extracted from the company’s Thor Lake deposit 100 km southeast of Yellowknife.
Swisher added that the project had expanded since he last addressed council, with a separation plant to be added – increasing both construction time and costs.
“This would be one of the only separation plants outside of China,” he said.
The estimated employment for the mine would come in at around 185 employees, with another 90 workers employed at the hydrometallurgical plant.
A location is yet to be decided upon for the separation plant.
According to Swisher, most of the rare earth elements are coming from China, but the country is having to cut back its exportation by 80 per cent, which provides an excellent market for Avalon’s vision in Pine Point.
Mayor Kelly Schofield had plenty of questions for Swisher but informed him that despite the inquiries, Avalon is wanted and welcome in the Northwest Territories and in the Hay River and Pine Point area.