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Plane Crash in Canada Almost Wipes Out Key Rare Earth Metals Company

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''Aviation wrecks have gutted companies before."

Scroll Down For An Update To This Story:

A plane wreck in Canada could have had a seriously harmful impact on the development of rare earth metals in North America. The good news is that this appears to be a near miss. The terribly sad news is that there were fatalities.

Avalon Rare Metals Inc. has taken a temporary blow in its management ranks. The Canadian-based company has issued a release stating that three of its staff and four visitors were injured in the crash of Arctic Sunwest’s Twin Otter floatplane in Yellowknife on Thursday. The charter plane was flying back from Avalon’s Thor Lake exploration camp when it crashed into Yellowknife’s Old Town neighborhood.

The three company employees are all senior executives: Brian Chandler, Chief Operating Officer; David Swisher, Vice President Operations; and Kelly Cumming, Northern Relations Manager.

The release also lists “four other visitors” and says that the group was returning from a tour of Avalon’s Nechalacho Rare Earth Deposit located about 60 miles east of Yellowknife. Fortunately, none of the injuries suffered by the seven passengers were fatal.

Tragically, the two pilots were killed in the crash.

Avalon stated that it has no information on the circumstances surrounding the crash and that the crash is under investigation by aviation authorities.

In America (where a great deal of Avalon's business takes place), shares of Avalon Rare Metals were down just over 2 percent at $2.86 and the stock hit a new 52-week low today.  The new 52-week trading range is $2.80 to $10.11.

Aviation wrecks have gutted companies before. While it it tragic that the two pilots lost their lives, one can be grateful that it was not worse. This looks to be one of those rare cases that were a near miss for Avalon and its senior management.

Read The Globe and Mail's updated report of the accident.

(Jon C. Ogg/Becket Adams –24/7 Wall St./The Blaze)

Update: Because of a well-written and insightful comment from comrade Transmogrifier, a rogue apostrophe has been identified, caught and liquidated. Thank you.

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