George Bauk, the managing director of Australian heavy rare earths developer Northern Minerals Limited (ASX: NTU), has been named as the founding member of the Industry Stakeholder Reference Group, to advise the WA Government Ministerial Taskforce. The taskforce will oversee the development of the Lithium and Energy Metals Strategy, to maximise benefits for the growing sector in WA. The strategy aims to create a world-leading lithium and energy materials industry in the state.
- George Bauk, Managing Director of Northern Minerals named as founding member of Industry Stakeholder Reference Group to advise WA Government Ministerial Taskforce;
- Ministerial Taskforce will oversee the development of Lithium and Energy Materials Strategy to maximise benefits of this growth sector for the State;
- Appointment reinforces Browns Range Heavy Rare Earths Pilot Plant Project as a strategic project, being set to become the only source of supply of dysprosium outside China in Q3 2018.
Australian heavy rare earths producer Northern Minerals Limited (ASX: NTU) (the Company) will take an industry leadership role, with Managing Director George Bauk announced as a founding member of the Industry Stakeholder Reference group to advise the Government of Western Australia’s new Ministerial Taskforce in the development of a strategy to create a world-leading lithium and energy materials industry in the State.
The Company welcomes the McGowan Government’s commitment to engage with industry and research organisations to fully-capitalise on the State’s unique opportunity to benefit from the growing global demand for energy materials, driven by the popular acceptance of electric vehicles and battery storage technology.
Although lithium plays an important role in the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries, other strategic critical minerals are just as essential to the development of efficient electric motors including the heavy rare earth dysprosium, which will be the key mineral produced from Northern Minerals’ Browns Range Pilot Plant Project in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Dysprosium is an essential ingredient in the production of DyNdFeB (dysprosium neodymium iron-boron) magnets used in clean energy and high technology solutions, including low emissions vehicles. The Company is currently in the commissioning phase at Browns Range and is set to become the only significant source of dysprosium outside China when it achieves production.
Premier Mark McGowan visited the site to mark the start of mining and participate in a sod-turning ceremony for the Pilot Plant in July last year, while Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan celebrated the opening of Browns Range on 27 July this year – exactly one year later to the day.
The Ministerial Taskforce is leading the development of a Lithium and Energy Materials Strategy to not only capitalise on our natural resources through mining and primary processing, but to also develop a comprehensive downstream processing industry that will support long term job creation in Western Australia for decades to come.
It is Chaired by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston and will consist of senior government representatives, while also engaging with key mining company stakeholders through the aligned Industry Stakeholder Reference Group, ahead of presenting recommendations to the State Government within six months.
Northern Minerals’ Managing Director and CEO, George Bauk, commented “I am very pleased to be able to support the State Government’s initiative. Western Australia has been recognised around the world for more than a century for it natural resources endowment and knowhow when it comes to exploration and mining, starting with the goldrush in the late 1890s and going all the way through to the more recent iron ore export boom.”
“What we have not always done well is value-add to these commodities through refining to metal ahead of export, or perhaps more ambitiously even look to support an end-product manufacturing sector to fully-capitalise the value-chain and retain maximum benefit for the State in the process.
“The move to low emission transport and global acceptance of battery storage technology to support renewable energy generation provides Western Australia with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do just that, with the catalyst being the Government’s facilitation of major investments in the downstream processing sector, for lithium in particular.”