Arafura to build processing plant in NT
NEODYMIUM and praseodymium explorer Arafura Resources has announced it will build a $US80 million separation plant for its Nolans rare earths project in the Northern Territory as opposed to overseas.
The company has been determining the feasibility of the location of the plant for years, with the preferred site originally an industrial estate in South Korea.
NT chief minister Michael Gunner said the Government had been working with Arafura throughout the year to secure the plant for the Territory.
“Creating local jobs is the Territory Government’s number one priority.
“This announcement is a significant vote of investor confidence in the NT and will contribute to the creation of around 500 construction jobs with 350-370 jobs during operations across the project.
“This is a game-changer for the Territory as it positions Central Australia as a leader in clean energy supply chains, plus it represents the first time industry will now have the capacity to value add processing to mineral resources.”
According to Arafura, the plant will be built at its Nolans site, about 135km north of Alice Springs.
Arafura managing director Gavin Lockyer said the company was “very pleased to have settled on a site for the plant.
“This makes Nolans a 100 per cent Australian domiciled project and unlocks significant value prior to product export,” Mr Lockyer said.
“Nolans will soon represent a new long-term, secure supply of 3600 tonnes of NdPr oxide each year and building the Separation Plant at the project site will bring additional benefits to the Northern Territory and in particular the Central Australian region.”
A DFS for the Nolans project was due in the coming weeks, with a final investment decision due in 2019.
Pilot testing for the Nolans flowsheet at SGS’s Malaga facility.