Arafura Resources Limited (ASX:ARU) will undertake an optimisation review of the definitive feasibility study cost estimates for its Nolans Neodymium-Praseodymium (NdPr) project in the Northern Territory.
The company will investigate the basis of reagent pricing and a trade-off analysis of capital expenditure versus operating expenditure options.
Some preliminary operating and capital expenditure estimates for Nolans’ DFS, based on external data sources, were found to be materially higher than internal targets and estimates previously announced by Arafura.
The company believes the estimates warrant detailed examination and optimisation to the extent possible.
Arafura will further refine reagent pricing on confirmation of reagent consumption from pilot tests of rare earth processing.
The second of Arafura’s pilot plants, phase-six rare earth dissolution and evaporation, is currently in operation.
Nolans has a JORC resource of 56 million tonnes at an average grade of 2.6% total rare earth oxides (TREO) that extends 215 metres below surface.
The resource has the potential to support mining and processing operations for at least 30 years, at a design capacity of 14,000 tonnes of TREO equivalent a year.
Arafura’s focus during the year has been to validate the performance of its process flowsheet through completing seven consecutive pilot operations.
Last week the company announced it had completed phase-five of pilot operations.