PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Rare earths developer Arafura Resources has started a major geotechnical programme at its Nolans neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) project, in the Northern Territory, to assess the location for critical site infrastructure.
The company on Thursday said that some 70 to 80 shallow pits will be excavated, and six or seven geotechnical diamond drill holes will be completed to a depth of 10 m to 20 m, in order to gather information for a definitive feasibility study design of the Nolans process plant foundations, tailings impoundment dams, access roads and mine site creek diversion.
The programme will be completed in two to three weeks, and will also include hydrogeological drilling, and the installation of a permanent monitoring borehole that will provide information on groundwater.
Arafura this week completed the institutional component of its accelerated non-renounceable one-for-four pro-rata entitlement offer. The company would raise A$11.5-million to progress the development of the Nolans NdPr project, by issuing some 143.9-million new shares, at a price of 8c each.
Nolans was recently granted federal environmental approval.
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.