PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mineral sands developer Arafura Resources has abandoned it plans for a rare earths complex at the Whyalla site, in South Australia, cancelling a land sale agreement with OneSteel.
In April this year, Arafura told shareholders that it was looking to cut some A$1-billion from the price tag of its proposed Nolans project, in the Northern Territory, through a range of initiatves.
The company said on Friday that the termination of the land purchase agreement would save the company some A$400-million, as well as offer material savings in operating costs by relocating the intermediate chemical processing closer to the Nolans Bore mine site, and by potentially locating rare earths separation alongside established infrastructure, at a suitable chemical precinct.
A new location for the rare earths separation plant is yet to be determined.
Arafura said that it was examining a number of potential sites for rare earths separation, as part of a global site assessment study.
Arafura was targeting a production of some 20 000 t/y of rare-earth oxide at the Nolans project, over a life-of-mine of 20 years.