JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – A crackdown on illegal mining in China is good news for Australia’s Northern Minerals, which is developing the first hardrock dysprosium operation outside of China.
The developer of the Browns Range pilot plant project, in northern Western Australia, said on Thursday that the price of dysprosium oxide had risen by 20% over the last two weeks from ¥1 250/kg to ¥1 500/kg.
Northern Minerals said the price shift was understood to be linked to a crackdown on illegal mining in China.
“The programme of clamping down on illegal mining has been ongoing since 2010; however, news reports out of China indicate that this recent crackdown is impacting on supply,” the company said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.
Northern Minerals noted that it was confident that increased demand from electric vehicles and renewables uptake, coupled with declining supply in China, would positively impact on the company.
Dysprosium is an essential ingredient in the production of dysprosium neodymium iron-boron magnets used in clean energy and high technology solutions.
The three-year pilot plant project at Browns Range will start with first production of heavy rare earth carbonate in the first half of 2018.