Information Bulletin: Minister Emphasizes Importance of Avalon´s Thor Lake Project in NWT Legislature
February 17, 2009
The NWT Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment capped off a week of very positive community engagement for Avalon and the Thor Lake project, both in Yellowknife and in the Yellowknives Dene First Nations´ Communities of Dettah and N´Dilo. The Honourable Bob McLeod recognized Avalon in the Legislative Assembly on February 6 stating that: "For the NWT, the importance of this project cannot be overemphasized."
After the Minister´s statement and recognition from the Ordinary Members´ side of the Legislature, Avalon´s Vice President, Exploration, Bill Mercer, was jointly welcomed to Yellowknife and introduced to the Chamber of Commerce by Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus and Mayor Gordon Van Tighem. The NDP Member of Parliament for the NWT, Denis Bevington wrapped up the Business Club Luncheon by calling the project " the answer for a new economy in the North" ; while Dene National Chief Erasmus concluded by saying; "If done right" Avalon´s Thor Lake Project "offers the North a chance to lead".
An article from the Yellowknifer on the Luncheon presentation may be found on Avalon´s website at: http://www.avalonventures.com/_resources/media/feb11-2009-article.pdf
The day prior, Yellowknives´ Dene Chief Edward Sangris (Dettah), Mine Training Society Vice-Chair Kelly Arychuk, Aurora College Vice-Chair Ted Blondin , Deton´ Cho Development Corporation CEO, Roy Erasmus Jr. and senior government officials launched the Aboriginal Driller Helper Training Program sponsored by Avalon and the Mine Training Society at the Deton´ Cho Training and Conference Centre.
Minster McLeod´s statement is reproduced below:
Mr. Speaker, Rare Earth Elements are being increasingly sought for their importance in the development of green technologies.
It is Rare Earth Elements such as dysprosium that allow electric motors to remain lightweight and small, yet deliver the efficiency and power required for modern vehicles. Europium is used in fluorescent lighting which cuts energy use by 75% compared to incandescent lighting. Terbium is used in energy efficient fluorescent lamps. Yttrium is used in almost every vehicle on the road. Yttrium-based materials improve the fuel-efficiency of engines.
Despite continued challenges for the mineral exploration industry, Avalon Ventures Ltd. continues to be diligent in advancing their Thor Lake Project in the NWT - a Rare Earth Element deposit located 110 kilometers south east of Yellowknife.
For the NWT, the importance of this project cannot be overemphasized.
Rare Earth Elements represent another market for products from our resource-rich Territory. It is one that we anticipate will grow significantly in coming years particularly in light of statements by US President Obama that he would like to see US manufacturers focus on developing more efficient cars that cause less pollution and will contribute to US efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Avalon´s ongoing presence in the NWT - along with similar exploration and development activities in our Territory - is an indicator that our region is recognized as a source for these rare and important resources.
The development of Rare Earth Elements in the NWT will provide us with yet another opportunity to maximize the benefits from our Territory's resource development and to promote growth in our economy. Ultimately, the advancement of world-class deposits such as Avalon's Thor Lake Project will mean jobs for our people and the potential for new, exciting and diversified industries.
Yesterday, Mr. Bill Mercer, Vice-President with Avalon Ventures Ltd., joined members of this Government in celebrating the launching the Mine Training Society´s Surface Diamond Driller Helper Training Program in which Avalon Ventures is an important partner.
This is the first time that the exploration industry has partnered in a mine training society project. It is another example of our Government´s priority to invest in partnerships for the future and to maximize opportunities by investing in education and skill development.
More importantly, it is a testament to the commitment of Avalon Ventures to our territory and to the potential that exists for our communities, our people and our economic future.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
A separate presentation on the Thor Lake project was made by Dr. Mercer on February 13, to a majority of Members of the Legislature, who had been unable to attend the Chamber of Commerce luncheon due the Legislature being in session that day. Considerable interest was expressed by a number of MLA´s in the potential "value-added" business opportunities that the project can potentially deliver to local communities, such as the development of a rare earth element separation facility.
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