Browns Range access upgrade to follow commitment from WA Govt in state budget: Northern Minerals

Browns Range access upgrade to follow commitment from WA Govt in state budget: Northern Minerals

Australian heavy rare earths producer Northern Minerals (ASX: NTU) has welcomed the Government of Western Australia’s allocation of $51 million in the 2019-20 state budget for upgrades to Duncan Road and Gordon Downs Road in the East Kimberley region, near the Company’s Browns Range Pilot Plant Project. The Duncan and Gordon Downs Roads provide access from Halls Creek and the Great Northern Highway to the community of Ringer Soak, several pastoral stations and ultimately the Browns Range Project.


Australian heavy rare earths producer Northern Minerals (ASX: NTU) has welcomed the Government of Western Australia’s allocation of $51 million in the 2019-20 state budget for upgrades to Duncan Road and Gordon Downs Road in the East Kimberley region, near the Company’s Browns Range Pilot Plant Project.

HIGHLIGHTS

·       $51 million allocated in State Budget for upgrade of Duncan Road and Gordon Downs Road in the East Kimberley

·       Provides improved access from Halls Creek and the Great Northern Highway to the community of Ringer Soak, several pastoral stations and ultimately Browns Range

·       Improved access to Browns Range to provide greater operational certainty, with potential flow-through to increased annual production

The Duncan and Gordon Downs Roads provide access from Halls Creek and the Great Northern Highway to the community of Ringer Soak, several pastoral stations and ultimately the Browns Range Project. These road upgrades do not include the direct mine access road from the township of Ringer Soak to Browns Range, which Northern Minerals maintains privately.

The roads are currently of low quality with numerous intersecting floodways, where each year the roads are closed due to wet season rain and flooding for periods of up to four months (after record rainfall). Northern Minerals recognises the community benefits of having improved road access to the area, which in turn provides greater logistical certainty for Brown Range mining and processing operations.

The Company’s operational plan for Browns Range has previously anticipated the Project would be inaccessible by road and unable to operate for up to 60 days each year during the wet season.

With improved access to be delivered by upgrades to Duncan Road and Gordon Downs Road, there is potential to expand annual production rates at the Pilot Plant Project to provide additional supply of rare earth carbonate.

Northern Minerals’ Managing Director, George Bauk, commented “We are very pleased that the McGowan Government recognises the potential of the East Kimberley region and has taken the decision to not only invest in the road infrastructure servicing the remote communities near Browns Range, but fund a broader plan to create local jobs and support the region’s economy through greater service delivery.

“We would like to thank both the Premier Mark McGowan and the Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan for their active engagement in issues affecting the East Kimberley as well as the development and ongoing operation of the Browns Range Pilot Plant since being elected in 2017, recognising the strategic significance of the Project producing the only supply of heavy rare earths carbonate outside of China.”

The road funding allocation forms part of the McGowan Government’s broader $684.9 million spending commitment for upgrading regional roads in Western Australia, which has been jointly funded by the Commonwealth and State Governments.

Cardinal Resources releases interim statements for three and nine months to March

Cardinal Resources releases interim statements for three and nine months to March

Zenith Minerals identifies new lithium pegmatites at Split Rocks

Zenith Minerals identifies new lithium pegmatites at Split Rocks