In April, Cheetah Resources sent a mining fleet to its Nechalacho project, approximately 100 kilometres southeast of Yellowknife. Nechalacho has a high concentration of rare earth elements that make magnets stronger, which can be used in electric vehicles, wind turbines, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and communication technologies.
During 2021, 100,000 metric tonnes of ore will be extracted and sorted over the next three years. 50 people will extract and sort this year. With site rotations, 30 people will be on site at a time.
The mine will rely on a sensor‐based ore sorter to do all the sorting in a single step — using x‐rays and puffs of air to sort the ore into streams of waste rock and a rare earth concentrate.