"The positive outlook confirms our investment thesis for the Strange Lake project’s development as a reliable source of heavy and light rare earths and a critical driver for the electrification value chain in North America."

Christine Burow

CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, TORNGAT METALS

July 10, 2024

What have been the main developments for Torngat Metals over the past year?

Cerberus Capital Management’s US$50 million investment at the end of 2022 enabled Torngat Metals to advance all major elements of the Strange Lake project, and we are on course to complete pre-feasibility and bankable feasibility studies in 2025. We have progressed with pilot testing and optimizing our flow sheet, engineering, confirmation drilling, environmental fieldwork, engagement with communities and Indigenous partners, site selection, and road development options.

The rare earths market forecast remains strong due to significant supply shortages for permanent magnet production. Demand is even higher for heavy rare earths (dysprosium and terbium) essential for high-efficiency, low-carbon technologies. This positive outlook confirms our investment thesis for the Strange Lake project’s development as a reliable source of heavy and light rare earths and a critical driver for the electrification value chain in North America. 

What are the priorities for the Strange Lake project in 2024? 

We are piloting our process at scale to ensure it will work as designed when we go into operation. In parallel, we continue to develop our geological model, conduct variability testing and confirmation drilling, advance the environmental impact assessment process, and engage with the multiple communities affected by our project. We need to advance several work streams simultaneously to complete the pre-feasibility and bankable feasibility studies by the end of 2025. As a result, we are growing our internal team and our network of world-class suppliers, advisors and partners. 

How important are early-stage community engagement approaches? 

Our goal is to communicate our project’s economic value and positive impacts while proactively addressing concerns and enhancing benefits for everyone involved. We have taken an early-stage partnership approach with communities, as opposed to informing and moving on, which has been the case with many projects in Canada, where communities only find out at the end of the process what is going to happen in their backyard. 

Our Strange Lake project involves multiple communities with shared interests, including environmental protection, and we are investing significant time and resources in building strong partnerships with them. 

Can you comment on the development of North America’s rare earths supply chain and Québec’s role ahead?   

A key economic focus across all jurisdictions in North America is to build a rare earth mineral supply chain. Over the past few years, we have seen a rollout of critical mineral strategies in Québec, across Canada, and in the US. The US is investing in downstream industries with several magnet manufacturing facilities in development. We are also seeing interest in Canada in the downstream processing of rare earth oxides. As things stand, China controls the supply market and its low rare earth pricing challenges the economic case for new projects. In Canada and the US, we are seeing governments and industry working together to become less reliant on China while making a major contribution to the global transition to electrification.

Québec has a tremendous mineral endowment; there is significant institutional and governmental support for responsible critical mineral projects development here. When the Strange Lake project begins production, the volumes will be globally significant and will have a material impact on the supply gap. This will position Québec at the forefront of establishing a rare earths industry in Canada. Québec will thus be a major supply security player for the entire North American and global supply chain. 

What are Torngat Metals’ key priorities to capitalize on the great momentum the company has at its Strange Lake project? 

We will continue to develop our team and resources internally and with our partners to successfully carry out our Strange Lake project. We have an enviable track record of hitting all our milestones on time and on budget, and we are very proud of our progress to date. As the project and team expand, we will coordinate our efforts to maintain our delivery standards while staying true to our vision of becoming the most reliable and innovative supplier of responsibly produced rare earths. 

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