Northern Minerals' Browns range mine build near Halls Creek in W.A

Browns Range heavy rare earths mine build in full swing

Northern Minerals continue to set a cracking pace with development of their $56 million Browns Range pilot project in the East Kimberley.

In an update to the ASX this week, the company reported that mining of ore at the Wolverine and Gambit West pits has now delivered the planned 180,000 tonnes to the run-of-mine pad. Mining contractor MACA will continue until the end of the month, with the target now expected to be around 200,000 tonnes of ore.

The project will process 60,000 tonnes per annum and is expected to produce 148,200kg of “Dysprosium” from 1,719,000kg of total rare earth oxide over the three-year pilot phase.

Dysprosium is a unique heavy rare earth that is used in the manufacturing of electric engines suitable for cars, wind turbines, industrial applications and a myriad of other uses.

Northern Minerals also reported that the majority of the first shipment of equipment and modular components from Sinosteel MECC was delivered to Browns Range over the past two weeks. This is the first of three main shipments. The second shipment has departed Shanghai and is due in Darwin in coming weeks.

Works at the Browns Range site, 160 kms southeast of Halls Creek, are progressing rapidly. Primero is well advanced with concrete works in the beneficiation plant area and have begun concrete works in the Hydromet plant area.

The company is building Australia’s first heavy rare earths mine as a three-year pilot project before ramping up production by a factor of 10 in a full scale plant. The company is on track to become the world’s first major producer of Dysprosium outside of China, putting it in a strong position to capitalise on booming demand led by the electric vehiclemarket.

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