PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The federal government has backed ASX-listed Arafura Resources’ plans to develop its Nolans rare earths project, in the Northern Territory.
The company on Thursday told shareholders that it had received a letter from Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment, Dan Tehan, and from Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, expressing support for the project.
In a letter to the company, the Ministers said that the project would ensure that Australia captured more economic benefits from its resources and would build its resilience and security in the global supply chain of critical minerals.
“We continue to see positive signs that the Australian government is serious about supporting the development of critical minerals projects and downstream processing capacity within our borders,” said Arafura MD Gavin Lockyer.
“The proactive stance from Ministers Tehan and Pitt has been extremely encouraging. For Arafura specifically, the A$200-million letter of support received last week from Export Finance Australia was an important first step in lining up funding for Nolans and we remain in discussions with them, the Northern Australian Infrastructure Fund and others as we look to formalize arrangements ahead of a final investment decision in the second half of 2022.”
The A$1-billion Nolans project is expected to deliver 293 000 t/y of concentrate, containing 4 357 t/y neodymium-praseodymium oxide, 135 808 t/y of phosphoric acid and 13 343 t/y total rare-earth oxide equivalent over a mine life of 33 years.