Alkane Resources Limited (ASX:ALK) is closer to developing its Dubbo Project in Central West NSW after Australia’s Export Credit Agency, Export Finance Australia (EFA), confirmed its interest in financing the polymetallic project, which includes rare earths.
Alkane, through wholly-owned subsidiary Australian Strategic Materials (ASM), has been engaging with EFA as it works to assist private business in developing Australia’s critical minerals sector and export markets.
Alkane managing director Nic Earner said: “After extensive engagement with the Australian Government, particularly recently as part of its critical minerals initiative, it is pleasing to see that stated support is translating into preparedness for government agencies to act, in this case with EFA providing confirmation of its interest in being part of the financing consortium for the Dubbo Project.”
Securing critical minerals a priority
The focus for ASM has been on finding potential strategic investors, offtake parties and debt financiers, including the Australian and foreign governments, that would assist it in the development of the Dubbo Project.
ASM managing director David Woodall said: “It is very pleasing to see positive action by EFA.
“I look forward to continuing ASM’s discussions with strategic partners and offtake parties, particularly with the ongoing trade support and now potential financial support from the Australian Government.
“It is very clear in today’s world that security of supply chains in all manner of materials is a pressing issue, and security of critical minerals is one supply chain that the Australian Government is clearly identifying as a priority for government backing.”
EFA has confirmed in writing to Alkane that:
- EFA would be pleased to be part of the financing consortium in providing the required financial support for the development of the Dubbo Project, subject to finalisation of normal due diligence, acceptable financing structure and the resultant transaction meeting the EFA’s eligibility and credit requirements,
- The Dubbo Project closely aligns to the recently announced initiative by the Australian Government to develop its critical minerals sector, and
- EFA has provided a letter of support to strengthen ASM’s ongoing discussions with potential strategic investors, other Government financiers and offtake parties for the Dubbo Project.
With EFA support confirmed, ASM will seek to escalate the engagement with strategic investors and offtake parties who have previously stated that the assembly of a suitable financing consortium may shift their preparedness to progress with ASM on the Dubbo Project development.
The Dubbo Project is an advanced polymetallic project with large in-ground resource of zirconium, hafnium, niobium, yttrium and rare earth elements and, with a potential mine life of more than 75 years, represents a potential strategic and independent supply of critical minerals.
The project is development-ready subject to financing, with the mineral deposit and surrounding land acquired and all major State and Federal approvals in place.