Australian heavy rare earths developer, Northern Minerals Limited (ASX: NTU) (the Company) has updated the market on its activities for the three months to September 30, with a number of milestones having been achieved at its Browns Range heavy rare earths project, including the turning of the first sod at the project by Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan. Sinosteel is constructing the modular process components for the pilot plant, which are expected to arrive this month.
The focus this quarter has been on equipment supply and fabrication, mining and siteworks for the $56 million Browns Range pilot plant project in the East Kimberley, WA.
- WA Premier, the Hon. Mark McGowan, MP, officially turned the first sod at Browns Range signifying the start of construction.
- Sinosteel Equipment & Engineering Co., Ltd (Sinosteel MECC) is constructing the modular process components, with first components shipped from China post the end of the quarter.
- ASX-listed MACA Limited, the Browns Range mining and bulk earthworks contractor, commenced mining and site clearing, with mining 52% of ore mined at the end of the quarter.
- As part of a consortium led by the Wunan Foundation, the Company announced that $4.8 million had been awarded for a Training-to-Work program under the Building Better Regions Fund.
- The Company executed a secured two and a half year $38 million R&D Loan Facility with with New York based financier, Innovation Structured Finance Co., LLC, a company associated with Brevet Capital Management, providing the Company with accelerated access to tax offsets that are applicable to Research & Development (R&D) activities being undertaken at the Browns Range Pilot Plant Project.
The Company received an R&D rebate of $2.67 million for the year ended 30 June 2017.