Australia’s next rare earths producer Hastings Technology Metals (ASX: HAS) spent the March Quarter advancing its world-scale Yangibana rare earths project, in WA’s Gascoyne region.
Project scope is transitioning from the front-end engineering and validation phase to the full EPCM project implementation phase in anticipation of a positive final investment decision. The current phase of work has included the agreement of the project baseline scope, cost estimates and development/construction schedules and risks being agreed to.
During the quarter, Hastings provided updated the project economics for Yangibana, which is shovel ready, that included:
- post-tax net present value increases by 84% to $1,012 million
- post-tax Internal rate of return of 26%;
- life of mine pre-tax free operating cashflow increases by 71% to $4,376 million;
- revised capital cost estimated at $582 million, and including contingency is $658 million;
- capital payback period forecast at 2.7 years from commencement of production.
Hastings also made significant progress on project financing, securing support for a $140 million loan from the Commonwealth’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility and $40 million from cornerstone investor L1 Capital.
Early stage civil works at Yangibana are being advanced while long-lead items, including the acid-bake kiln, have been ordered.
Work on key milestones and overall project completion for commissioning in 2024 remains on track.
Hastings finished the quarter with $131.3 million of cash and equivalents.