Since the early days of civilization, humans have used mining techniques to access minerals from the earth’s crust. Communities began to replace the nomadic lifestyle as Homo Sapiens evolved and the population expanded. Food, water, and shelter were all readily available to early tribes who settled near them. Human habitation began to be influenced by the location of other natural resources soon after.
Mined resources were most likely among the first commodities to be traded. Gradually, mining became one of the most important industries in the globe as the Mediterranean civilization developed. The best example of this is the wealth of Athens due to the extraction from silver mines.
The journey that started from unearthing copper and silver has reached the mining of rare earth elements today. This journey led to the inception of many successful companies in the mining field. One of the eminent names in that list is Appia Rare Earths & Uranium Corp. Appia is a mining company that focuses on the exploration of rare earth elements and uranium deposits.
Brief About the Company
Appia Rare Earths and Uranium Corp. is a Canadian mineral exploration company focussed on critical materials, namely rare earths, gallium, and uranium. Appia is exploring high-grade critical rare earth elements and uranium in the Athabasca Basin area of northern Saskatchewan, as well as developing Appia’s uranium and rare earths project in the historic Elliot Lake uranium mining camp in Ontario.
Since 2017, Appia’s focus has been on a drilling and exploration program on the flagship Alces Lake rare earths property in northern Saskatchewan. This rare earths discovery is hosted entirely in monazite, a mineral that has a much higher percentage (approximately 50% or more) of critical rare earths as compared to bastnaesite. The Alces Lake property has been called one of the world’s best rare earths prospects, and typically, only the world’s best deposits have been developed into mines.
Along with the rare earths, there is also associated gallium in the monazite, another very valuable critical mineral. On the uranium side, the company is continuing an exploration program in the prolific eastern Athabasca Basin area. Appia holds four claim blocks and is targeting at or near-surface, high-grade uranium, and its associated mineral system.
These properties are near existing infrastructure, which makes them particularly attractive for potential development.
The company also has a 100% interest in certain claims in the historic Elliot Lake uranium camp area. This area contains previously worked uranium mines plus Canada’s only historic rare earths production. Appia has conducted exploration on the claims in Elliot Lake and has produced a NI 43-101 resource report that highlights the known potential for uranium and rare earths on the property. Additional exploration is being considered.
The Elliot Lake camp has produced over 300 million pounds of U3O8 and is the only mining camp in Canada with significant historical commercial rare earth element production (yttrium). Appia’s Elliot Lake project has a NI 43-101 report that reports U3O8 of 8.0 million pounds indicated and 20.1 million pounds inferred, plus total rare earth elements of 47.7 million pounds indicated and 133.2 million pounds inferred.
A Foreman in Charge
Frederick Kozak, the President of Appia, is a 40-year veteran of the resource extraction industry and the global capital markets. He has worked in producing and exploration companies in positions of senior management and has extensive experience and expertise in the world of equities markets and finance. He joined the company in March 2021 Replace with “and is working closely with the CEO and the Appia team as they resumed operations at Alces Lake in March 2022 for an extensive exploration and drilling program.”
Nuclear Power – A Long Term Power Solution
The company has excellent and extensive uranium assets in the historic Elliot Lake mining camp as well as three highly prospective uranium claims blocks in Saskatchewan. If the world is going to meet Net-Zero by mid-century, there must be a movement towards other sources of energy other than solar and wind, which have their obvious limitations, as well as hydroelectric power, which as has been demonstrated this year relies on rainfall and is subject to shortfalls.
Nuclear power is currently the only viable long-term power solution that is green and clean, other than the future disposal of spent fuel. Uranium is a logical choice to assist in the move to a 22nd-century economy.
Blast Hole of the Pandemic
The ongoing pandemic has created a number of supplychain problems which have hit all sectors – the mining sector is also affected. With consideration to these disruptions, Appia has mostly been able to conduct exploration relatively unimpeded. However, there has been a large impact on manpower and how the company conducts exploration. Appia has followed the relevant health authority guidelines and has sought to operate with industry-leading policies and procedures. There have been no COVID-19 outbreaks in Appia’s exploration camps as a result.
Beyond the Horizon
The mining space is a definite beneficiary of the world’s move to ‘net zero’ and a green economy. Replacing internal combustion engines with electric vehicles requires an unfathomable amount of new mineral deposits for battery materials as well as electric motors (rare earth metals/magnets). The future of the mining industry is very bright but must be driven by the move to improve ESG and run more environmental-friendly exploration and development programs where feasible.
“In 2022, Appia will conduct the largest ever drilling program on the Alces Lake rare earths property. Talking about the ongoing plans, Frederick said, “We drilled approximately 8,075 meters of diamond drill core in 2021 and will drill even more in 2022. We are now back on the ground at Alces Lake (March 2022) and plan to drill 12,000+ metres of diamond drill core. We are continuing to delineate known discoveries and drill new exploration targets. Last year we identified an area of 27 square kilometres of high grade mineralization. This includes the previously discovered WRCB zone as well as the new discoveries in the Western Anomaly area. This is a very exciting exploration program for the company.”