The Federal Government has given a $30 million grant to Arafura Resources for the Nolans rare earths separation facility that will be the first of its type in Australia and the second outside China.
The grant will pay almost a third of the $90.8 million separation plant’s construction budget.
“This grant is an exciting milestone for Arafura, recognising the strategic significance of the Nolans Project and its place in the future of critical minerals processing in Australia,” Arafura Managing Director Gavin Lockyer said.
According to the company, Nolans is Australia’s sole “NdPr” ready project for neodymium and praseodymium. They are crucial components in magnets that power wind turbine motors and electric cars, both of which are essential products in the worldwide effort to reduce carbon emissions.
Internal projections estimate the Nolans project could meet five per cent of the global NdPr oxide market.
The project is located 135 kilometres north of Alice Springs.
In addition to a large 29.5 million metric tons of rare earth oxides reserves with a total concentration of 2.9 per cent, the Nolans project also has strong transportation and operating facilities nearby, the company said.
Arafura’s share price has jumped more than 60 per cent over the last six months, with its market value now at roughly $430 million.