Eneabba rare earths refinery, Australia

Image of mounds of rare earths

27th May 2022

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Eneabba rare earths refinery.

Eneabba, in Australia.

Project Owner/s
Iluka Resources.

Project Description
Eneabba is the highest-grade rare earths operation globally.

It comprises Iluka’s stockpile of the rare-earth-bearing minerals monazite and xenotime, as well as the company’s Phase 1 (screening) and
Phase 2 (concentrating) plant.

Phase 3 (refinery) will build on this existing operation to deliver a significant downstream infrastructure asset comprising roasting, leaching, purification, solvent extraction and product finishing.

Iluka’s refinery will produce the high-value rare-earth oxides neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium.

The refinery will have a capacity of 17 500 t/y of total rare-earth oxide and will initially be fed from the Eneabba stockpile. Potential future sources of feedstock include Iluka’s Wimmera operation and other deposits, as well as third parties.

Potential Job Creation
The project will have a construction workforce of about 300 people and an operational workforce of about 270 people.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
Not stated.

Capital Expenditure
The project will cost between $1-billion and $1.2-billion to complete. The construction and commissioning of Phase 3 will be funded by Iluka and the Australian government.

Planned Start/End Date
Construction is scheduled to start in the second half of 2022, with first production expected in 2025.

Latest Developments
Iluka approved the project on April 3, 2022.

The final investment decision was made following the completion of the feasibility and agreement of a risk-sharing agreement with the Australian government, including through a nonrecourse loan under the Australian government’s $2-billion Critical Minerals Facility, administered by Export Finance Australia. Iluka is working towards securing further approvals and regulatory requirements.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Iluka group manager, investor relations and corporate affairs Luke Woodgate, tel +61 8 9360 4785 or email

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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