Proposed Nolans Project rare earths mine milestone

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The Northern Territory Government has offered the grant of mineral leases to Australian company Arafura Rare Earths Pty Ltd, paving the way for its proposed Nolans rare earths mine and processing plant in Central Australia.

The Nolans Project will produce Neodymium and Praseodymium (NdPr) which is in high demand for environmentally friendly, high tech applications such as magnets for electric vehicles, mobile phones, wind turbines and medical equipment.

Nolans is one of the world’s largest and most intensively explored NdPr deposits of its kind with the potential to produce around 10 per cent of global demand for NdPr magnet feed. The project has also been awarded major project status by the Territory Government.

The Nolans Project has an initial operational life of 33 to 39 years and will deliver opportunities for Central Australia, including jobs, economic development and an enhanced logistics capacity in Alice Springs.

It is estimated that up to 650 jobs will be created during the construction phase over a 30 month period and 280 jobs during the operational phase.

The project will also provide jobs, training and economic development opportunities for Anmatyerr people with Native Title rights to the land near Aileron.

Offering, or the grant of mineral leases does not approve any on ground activity. Arafura Resources will be required to lodge a Mining Management Plan with the Department of Primary Industry and Resources and hold a valid authorisation under the Mining Management Act 2001.

Arafura Resources will now seek to raise funding and seek approval of a Mining Management Plan hopes to start work on construction at the site in 2021.

Image of red dirt road - Image from Arafura resources Limited.

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