NEW YORK Rare earths miner Quest Rare Minerals Ltd. is planning a $1.3-billion hydrometallurgical plant in Bécancour, Quebec, it said Nov. 5 after announcing the results of a prefeasibility study on the facility and its Strange Lake rare earths mine.
The Toronto-based company has been developing a rare earths mine in northeastern Quebec that is expected to yield zirconium basic sulfate, columbium oxide and a rare earths double sulfate concentrate.
Quest released a prefeasibility study Oct. 23 that projected initial capital expenditures of $2.57 billion, annual revenue of $1.05 billion per year and cash operating costs of $432 million annually, resulting in a 21.2-percent post-tax internal rate of return.
Construction at the facility is expected to begin in 2016, with commissioning scheduled for 2017 and delivery of the first product the following year.
The companys Strange Lake deposit in northern Quebec will likely be one of the worlds largest and highest-grade heavy rare earths element mining projects, Quest said.