INDUSTRY BULLETIN: Avalon Appears Before House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources
In our ongoing efforts to provide you with broader communications and industry information, we are pleased to issue this Industry Bulletin, which reports on Avalon’s Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Pierre Neatby’s appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources as part of their study on the rare earths industry on February 25, 2014.
House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources
On November 6, 2013, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources (“the Committee”) passed a motion to “undertake a study on the rare earths industry in Canada, given its economic potential and strategic relevance.”
Chaired by Leon Benoit the Member of Parliament for Vegreville—Wainwright, Alberta, the mandate of the Committee is to study and report on matters referred to it by the House of Commons, or on topics the Committee itself chooses to examine.
In his remarks, Mr. Neatby outlined the need for the Canadian Government to verbally offer its support for the developing Canadian rare earth industry and to provide research and development funding through the Canadian Rare Earth Element Network (“CREEN”) to assist this important industry. Mr. Neatby also spoke about Chinese dominance of the sector and Avalon’s Nechalacho Project, the only advanced project to have completed a Feasibility Study from mine to separation plant, and the only one to have had its environmental assessment approved by the Government. Lastly, Mr. Neatby highlighted that Avalon is one of few junior mining companies in the world to have released a Sustainability Report in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative Guidelines.
Questions from the Committee related to the jobs Avalon would create and the benefits the Nechalacho Project would provide to Aboriginal partners and the surrounding area. There were also questions related to what the Government could do to support the industry and what other countries are doing in this area.
During this February 25 meeting, the Committee also heard from other witnesses including other rare earth explorers, and Dr. Alexander King, Director of the Critical Materials Institute in the United States.
The Committee wrapped up the study following the meeting and will be producing a summary of proceedings to be distributed among Committee members and to the Department of Natural Resources (“NRCan”).
The Committee had held two previous meetings as part of the study. On November 25, 2013, Magdi Habib, Director General, CanmetMINING, and, Christiane Villemure, Director General, Industry and Economic Analysis Branch, NRCan, launched the study where they outlined some of the basic information about the rare earth industry, Canada’s position, and what the Canadian Government had been doing to date in the rare earths field. Following this, on February 13, 2014, a panel comprised of experts from across the supply chain presented under the banner of the recently formed CREEN. Included in this panel was Luisa Moreno, Senior Research Analyst, Euro Pacific Canada, Vladimiros Papangelakis, Professor, University of Toronto, Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, and Steven Wilson, Senior Vice-President, SGS Canada, Minerals Services. Ian London, the Chair of CREEN, and Market Development and Energy Advisor to Avalon, played a leading role in creating the presentation to the Committee in preparation for the February 25 meeting. Unfortunately, he was unable to participate due to technical difficulties with the teleconferencing but did follow up by submitting a written report.
Avalon is encouraged by the increased attention the Government is providing to the emerging rare earth industry in Canada and hopes to see the Committee summary lead to further action and initiatives to support its future growth.
ABOUT AVALON RARE METALS INC.
Avalon Rare Metals Inc. (TSX & NYSE MKT: AVL) is a mineral development company focused on rare metal deposits in Canada. Its 100%-owned Nechalacho Deposit, Thor Lake, NWT is exceptional in its large size and enrichment in the scarce 'heavy' rare earth elements, key to enabling advances in clean technology and other growing high-tech applications. With a positive feasibility study and environmental assessment completed, the Nechalacho Project remains the most advanced potential large new source of heavy rare earths in the world outside of China, currently the source of most of the world's supply. Avalon is adequately funded, has no debt and its work programs are progressing. Social responsibility and environmental stewardship are corporate cornerstones.