Arafura Resources says it has reached an agreement with Anmatyerr native title holders for access to its proposed Nolans rare earths mine and processing plant near Aileron, 135 kilometres north of Alice Springs.
The agreement paves the way for the Minister for Resources, Paul Kirby, to grant Arafura’s mineral leases, says the company in a media release.
IMAGE from Arafura’s website illustrating rare earths use in car engine.
The Nolans project will produce Neodymium and Praseodymium (NdPr) “which is in high demand for environmentally friendly, high tech applications such as magnets for electric vehicles, mobile phones, wind turbines and medical equipment,” says Arafura managing director, Gavin Lockyer.
“We now have our environmental approvals, this agreement with the site’s native title holders, we have completed our feasibility study and begun awarding key contracts for project management.
“Arafura is well-positioned to become a long-term, low-cost, high margin producer of strategic critical minerals needed in a low-carbon, clean-energy world.
“The Nolans Project has a likely initial operational life of nearly 40 years and will deliver transformational opportunities for Central Australia, including jobs, economic development and an enhanced logistics capacity in Alice Springs,” Mr Lockyer says.
Arafura has a commitment to delivering social as well as economic goals and has worked with the Karen Sheldon Group to prepare an Aboriginal Engagement Strategy for the project.
The company is awaiting final advice on its application for Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility funding for key project infrastructure.
Subject to raising finance and approval of its mining management plan, Arafura hopes to start work on construction at the site in 2021, says Mr Lockyer.
Arafura signed an exploration agreement with the Anmatyerr people in 2005.