Australian heavy rare earths developer, Northern Minerals Limited (ASX: NTU) spent the June quarter focused on finalising installation and initiating commissioning of the $56 million Browns Range pilot plant project in the East Kimberley, which will operate for three years with production expected during the September quarter. Post-quarter end, the project was officially opened by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan, while exploration drilling of near-mine targets has also begun.
During the quarter, the Company’s focus has been on finalising installation and commencing commissioning of the $56 million Browns Range pilot plant project in the East Kimberley, WA, which is progressing well.
The pilot plant project will operate for three years with production from the September quarter 2018.
- Installation of modular plant and equipment effectively complete and plant commissioning commenced.
- Beneficiation plant has been commissioned.
- Commissioning of the hydrometallurgical plant has commenced and will progress as beneficiated product is available.
- Rare Earth carbonate produced as part of lab testwork on site.
- Post-quarter end, the Project was officially opened by the Hon. Alannah MacTiernan MLC, Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Minister assisting the Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade.
- Exploration drilling of near mine targets commenced.
Browns Range Project Update
Northern Minerals finalised installation works and commenced commissioning at the Pilot Plant Project for its 100% owned, dysprosium-rich Browns Range heavy rare earth element project, located 160km south east of Halls Creek in the Tanami region of Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
The Company has the opportunity to become the first significant dysprosium producer outside of China through the development of the high-grade Browns Range Project, placing Northern Minerals in a unique position to capitalise on the growing demand for the dysprosium in the production of rare earth permanent magnets commonly used in the production of motors for burgeoning electric vehicles sector, where industry commentators now agree demand has reached an inflection point.