In an interview with Rueters, Avalon Rare Metals CEO Don Bubar stated that the Toronto-based mining company plans to produce separated rare earths by 2016. With demand increasing by roughly 9 percent annually over the past few years, the market for rare earth metals will only increase as China constricts its exports.

Avalon is “five years down a 10-year timeline” to getting its rare earth deposit into production, according to Bubar.

The Canadian rare earth mining projects have the potential to deliver both a large quantity and full spectrum of rare earth metals. “There’s nobody else in the world that offers that potential to bring heavy rare earths to the market in a significant quantity by 2015. No one,” Bubar says.

Nechalacho has over 20 million tons of reserves, and Bubar believes it is the most advanced rare earth project in Canada.

So far, Avalon has raised about C$40 million, to fund a bankable feasibility study due by the third quarter of 2012. Bubar plans to approach banks and investors about funding the C$1 billion project.

“It’s not a mining business,” Bubar told Rueters. “It’s a sophisticated chemical processing business to produce specialty chemical products for clean technology and high technology.”