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Arafura Resources reveals plan to build rare earth Separation Plant on site, DFS on track

The company had previously planned for the Separation Plant to be located in South Korea.
Map showing location of Nolan project in central Australia
The Nolans Project is 135 kilometres from Alice Springs, Northern Territory

Arafura Resources Ltd (ASX:ARU) has revealed that the preferred site for its proposed rare earth Separation Plant is at its 100%-owned Nolans Neodymium-Praseodymium (NdPr) Project.

Efficiencies identified through the definitive feasibility study (DFS) and other development work support multiple benefits for building the Separation Plant on site at Nolans.

Arafura is on track to complete the Nolans DFS in the coming weeks and continues to advance funding and offtake discussions so that a final investment decision may be reached in 2019.

READ: Arafura Resources signs MoU for supply of NdPr oxide to major Chinese manufacturer

Arafura’s managing director Gavin Lockyer said: “This makes Nolans a 100% Australian domiciled project and unlocks significant value prior to product export.

“Our engagement with NdFeB magnet manufacturers and end users indicates a growing focus on the provenance of NdPr supply being sustainable and managed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.

“Nolans will soon represent a new long-term, secure supply of 3,600 tonnes of NdPr oxide each year and building the Separation Plant at the project site will bring additional benefits to the Northern Territory and in particular the Central Australian region.”

Multiple factors support a local plant

The process for selecting a site for the plant involved a detailed assessment that considered environmental, economic and operational factors.

Process and configuration efficiencies were identified as part of the DFS and Arafura’s comprehensive test work and flowsheet piloting programs have made the relocation to the Nolans site more feasible.

The decision will also mitigate some of the project’s operational risks.

Local plant will result in benefits for the Northern Territory

Importantly, by building the proposed Separation Plant on site, additional benefits will be delivered for the Northern Territory and central Australia region.

Arafura anticipates that 20-25 jobs will be created as a result of a local plant, adding to the US$680 million project’s estimated total workforce of 350-370.

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