PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The federal government has approved the Nolans neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) project, in the Northern Territory, for development.
Developer Arafura Resources on Monday told shareholders that the approval was the final step in the project’s environmental approvals process, after the Northern Territory government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave its nod in December.
The federal environmental approval came with a number of conditions relating to biodiversity, groundwater and radiation.
Arafura said that the company would incorporate these conditions into the Northern Territory’s EPA conditions in the final mining management plan, which would be prepared during the second half of 2018.
“With territory and federal approvals in hand, Arafura is better placed to engage in meaningful discussions with potential strategic partners and other parties that may have an interest in assisting with funding and the development of the Nolans project,” said Arafura MD Gavin Lockyer.
“Along with completing engineering studies, progressing project funding will be a priority for the company during 2018.”
Final project construction and operating approvals will be obtained once the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Resources issues a mining authorisation and approves the activities of the mining management plan.
The project is expected to have a maximum mining rate of five-million tonnes a year for the majority of the mine life, with steady-state beneficiation plant feed rate estimated at 525 000 t/y for the first 11 years of operation.