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Nechalacho Introduction

The 100% owned Nechalacho Rare Earth Elements Project, located at Thor Lake, Northwest Territories, is Avalon's flagship rare metals project and is exceptional for its high concentrations of the more scarce heavy rare earth elements. To view the project Fact Sheet, click here.

As at April 2014, over C$95 million had been expended in exploring and developing the Nechalacho property. A comprehensive feasibility was completed in April 2013, followed by a Report of Environmental Assessment which received Federal Government approval in November 2013. Capital Expenditures to build the Project including hydrometallurgical processing and refining capacity to separated and purified rare earth oxides was estimated at $1.575 billion.

In March 2014, Avalon entered into a 10-year binding toll-refining and strategic partnership agreement with Solvay, the global leader in rare earth refining. The agreement removes CAPEX for a refinery from the April 2013 Feasibility Study economic model and reduces project risk in meeting product quality and delivery expectations with potential off-takers.

Process design criteria, plant designs and cost estimates for both the Concentrator and Hydrometallurgical Plant are currently being reworked along with revisions to the Mine Plan. The results of this work, as well as the strategic partnership with Solvay, will be incorporated into an updated technical report in mid-2014.

At Avalon, social responsibility and environmental stewardship are corporate cornerstones. Avalon takes a proactive approach to working with local communities around Thor Lake. An Accommodation Agreement has been signed with the Deninu K’ue First Nation (June 2012) and a Participation Agreement with the Northwest Territory Métis Nation (February 2014). A third agreement awaits community ratification and negotiations continue with three other communities. 


The definitions that follow are acronyms used throughout the Nechalacho Project section.  The list is to aid in reading and understanding the technical content of our website:

  • REE = rare earth elements, lanthanum to lutetium by atomic weight plus yttrium
  • LREE = light rare earth elements, lanthanum to samarium by atomic weight
  • HREE = heavy rare earth elements, europium to lutetium plus yttrium
  • TREO = rare earth elements, calculated as oxides, including lanthanum to lutetium plus yttrium
  • HREO = heavy rare earth elements, as per HREE above, calculated as oxides
  • LREO = light rare earth elements, as per LREE above, calculated as oxides
  • NMR = net metallurgical return
  • EZC = enriched zirconium concentrate

Reports and Tables

The following reports and tables will further augment the reader's understanding of the technical details of the Project.

The technical information contained in this website relating to the Nechalacho Rare Earth Elements Project has been reviewed and approved by William Mercer, Ph.D., P. Geo. (Ont), P. Geo. (NWT), Vice-President, Exploration, of Avalon, a qualified person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101. For additional information on the Nechalacho Rare Earth Elements Project, see the technical report entitled “Technical Report Disclosing the Results of the Feasibility Study of the Nechalacho Rare Earth Elements Project” dated May 31, 2013 and effective April 17, 2013.