ASX-listed Peak Resources has announced that the Tanzanian government has approved the application for a special mining licence for the Ngualla rare earths project.
Peak is now working with the government to finalise an economic framework agreement, shareholders’ agreement and other documentation required as part of a formal grant of the licence.
The licence marks a milestone in regulatory authorisation required to exclusively mine on the 18.14 km2 property.
The company plans to start construction on the $200-million project by the end of September 2022, following finalisation of funding, offtake and development arrangements. Construction will take about two years.
Once developed, Ngualla will be one of the largest and highest-grade neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) projects in the world. Its ore reserve currently stands at 18.5-million tonnes, grading 4.8% rare earth oxide, for 887 000 t of rare earth oxide.
These rare earths are used in the production of electric vehicles and wind turbines.
China currently produces 90% of the world’s NdPr oxide and the Ngualla project will position Tanzania as one of the major rare earth suppliers outside of China.