Kipawa Project

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Mine TypeOpen Pit
StatusInactive / Suspended
  • REE
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotIn 2017 development activities were stopped for the project as well as research activities with various university partners and government agencies.


Investissement Quebec Inc. 32 % Indirect
Quebec Precious Metals Corp. 68 % Indirect
Subsequent to year-end in August 2021, Vital announced it had signed a binding term sheet with Quebec Precious Metals Corporation (TSX-V: QPM) for Vital to acquire QPM’s 68% interest in the Kipawa exploration project and 100% interest in the Zeus exploration project, both located in Quebec, Canada for C$8 million payable over four years. Joint Venture partner Investissement Québec (“IQ”) holds the remaining 32% of the Kipawa project on a contributing basis.

Deposit type

  • Magmatic


The Kipawa deposit is presently considered open both laterally and at depth, though to various degrees.

The association of radioactive mineralization with rare elements in the vicinity of the Kipawa Complex is likely to represent a polymetallic deposit type of rare elements (Zr, Y, Nb, Be, U, Th, Ta, REE and Ga) associated with peralkaline syenite occurrences.

Rare earth-yttrium-zirconium mineralization at the Kipawa deposit is contained in medium grained silicates disseminated in meso to mafic syenites and impure marbles (up to 20% per volume). Grains are distinct and generally well crystallized.

Three minerals are presently considered as an economical source of rare earths on the Kipawa deposit, namely eudialyte (a sodic silicate), yttro-titanite/mosandrite (titanite silicate) and britholite (calcic silico-phosphate) for rare-earth-yttrium. Minor apatite (a phosphate) is also present in places, furnishing some of the light rare earths. Vlasovite/gittinsite (sodic and calcic silicates) and eudialite (sodic silicate) were once considered as a source for a possible zirconium by-product, but this is no longer the case. Each of these is described in the sections below, followed by a short section on ore genesis.

While vlasovite and its alteration mineral gittinsite are spread in a fairly uniform manner throughout the syenitic body, this is not the case for the other minerals. Specifically, three vertically-stacked mineralized zones have been defined based on their spatial characteristics: the Eudialyte, Mosandrite and Britholite zones. Despite their name, the different zones contain a mix of potentially economic minerals. The name simply indicates the dominant REE mineral present in that zone.

The Eudialyte zone consists of intermixed eudialyte and mosandrite/yttro-titanite with trace britholite (usually identified as "honey brown mineral"). It sits near the top of the syenite body and is not associated with any large calco-silicate horizon. The Eudialyte zone represents 57% of the rare earth-yttrium resources.

The Mosandrite zone also consists of intermixed eudialyte and mosandrite/yttro-titanite but with a much lesser relative quantity of eudialyte and some added britholite. It sits between the Eudialyte and Britholite zone and is, in part, associated with the first major calc-silicate horizon. It incorporates 23% of rare earth-yttrium resources.

Lastly, the Britholite zone consists of intermixed mosandrite/yttro-titanite and britholite. It sits at or very near the lower contact of the complex and is mainly contained within the bottom calc-silicate horizon which almost always includes marbles. The Britholite mineralized zone is mostly fairly thin, discontinuous in grade and incorporates roughly 20% of existing rare earth-yttrium resources.



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.



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CommodityUnitsAvg. AnnualLOM
All production numbers are expressed as concentrate.

Production Costs

Cash costs Total Rare Earth Oxides CAD 21.5 / kg *  CAD
Assumed price Total Rare Earth Oxides CAD 50.1 / kg *  CAD
* According to 2013 study / presentation.

Operating Costs

OP mining costs ($/t mined) CAD 7.03 *  CAD
OP mining costs ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
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* According to 2013 study.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
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OP OpEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Processing OpEx $M CAD 734.3
G&A costs $M CAD 182.8
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Pre-tax NPV @ 8% $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
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Heavy Mobile Equipment


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Mine Management

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