18/04/2017 - 13:22

Northern to build $56m pilot plant

18/04/2017 - 13:22

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Northern Minerals plans to spend $56 million developing a pilot plant for its Browns Range heavy rare earths project in Halls Creek, with first production expected next year.

Northern to build $56m pilot plant
The Northern Minerals board signing pilot plant documents.

Northern Minerals plans to spend $56 million developing a pilot plant for its Browns Range heavy rare earths project in Halls Creek, with first production expected next year.

Perth-based Northern said today its board had approved the development of the pilot plant, which is expected to produce 1,719 tonnes of mixed rare earth carbonate containing 148.2t of dysprosium, with the processing facility to have a throughput of 60,000tpa for three years.

The throughput capacity is estimated at 10 per cent of the size of the company’s proposed full-scale operation at Browns Range.

The dysprosium product is a key component in the manufacture of permanent magnets, which are used in the building of motors for electric vehicles.

Northern said the pilot plant capex would be funded by a combination of equity, debt, offtake pre-payments and deferred payments.

Construction is expected to take 11 months, with first production targeted for mid-2018.

Earlier this month, Northern announced it had struck a deal with Chinese investment group Guangdong Rising Asset Management for all production from the pilot plant.

Sinosteel Equipment and Engineering Company has been contracted for the engineering, procurement and construction of the pilot plant.

“The pilot plant development will help us continue to assess the economic and technical feasibility of a larger full scale development,” Northern managing director George Bauk said.

“Incidentally, it also provides an opportunity to gain production experience and surety of supply for our offtake partner, and propels Northern towards being the first dysprosium producer outside China.”

Northern shares were unchanged at 12.5 cents each at 1:20pm.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options