Northern Minerals locks down offtake for Browns Range

ASX-listed heavy rare earths trailblazer, Northern Minerals, has signed an offtake agreement with German raw material distributor thyssenkrupp Materials Trading for the purchase of all heavy rare earths carbonate produced from its Browns Range pilot plant project near Halls Creek, WA.

The offtake agreement will commence immediately, with all current stockpiled product and future production included in the agreement.

Management said the agreement includes an intention for both companies to work together on implementing separating technologies at Browns Range and on potential future expansions of the project.

Northern Minerals Managing Director George Bauk said: “The new offtake agreement with a global player such as thyssenkrupp is a significant endorsement of Browns Range and the company.”

“Importantly for Northern Minerals, the new offtake agreement doesn’t include any price caps, giving the company full exposure to increasing dysprosium and terbium prices, which are up 60% and 35% respectively over the year to date.”

thyssenkrupp Materials Trading Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Schnittker said: Northern Minerals … is one of the few suppliers of rare earths outside China, so we are really looking forward to a successful collaboration between the companies.”

Last month, Northern Minerals paid a deposit on an industry-leading Steinert ore sorting module that could potentially double ore feed and reduce operating costs at Browns Range.

Previous testing had improved the mill head grade to 2% total rare earth oxides using the technology.

The company is also carrying out further exploration across Browns Range that includes geophysical surveys and drilling of several follow-up targets at the Dazzler deposit.

The Dazzler deposit currently holds an inferred mineral resource estimate of 144,000 tonnes grading 2.23% total rare earth oxide, which is more than three times the average grade of Browns Range mineralisation currently being mined and processed.

Excluding Dazzler, the Browns Range project has a global mineral resource of 9.07 million tonnes grading 0.63% total rare earth oxides.

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