Arafura secures native title agreement for Nolans
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Special Report: Arafura has secured in-principle agreement for the native title approval over its Nolans neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) project.
The company stated that following a recent meeting, the native title holders of the Nolans project site have resolved to enter into an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA).
Arafura Resources (ASX:ARU) said the agreement results from negotiations between Arafura and the Central Land Council (CLC) during 2019 and 2020.
It follows a lengthy engagement between the stakeholders since the establishment of an agreement in 2003 for exploration over the area that includes the Nolans project site.
The ILUA will be presented at the next full Council meeting of the CLC in early April.
Nolans has an economic reserve of 19.2 million tonnes at 3 per cent total rare earths.
NdPr, which is in strong demand for the manufacture of ultra-strong rare earth permanent magnets that are essential components of electric motors, will make up almost a third of the project’s total rare earths output.
However, it is expected to produce 85 per cent of the project’s revenues.
Nolans is expected to produce 4,357 tonnes of NdPr oxide per annum for a minimum of 23 years with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) predicted to be $377 million per annum.
The higher the EBITDA, the more profitable the proposed mining operation is estimated to be.
Last month, the company successfully produced a refined liquor in which NdPr makes up more than 99.9 per cent of its contained rare earth elements (REE) and a separate refined liquor where mixed middle-heavy rare earths (SEG-HRE) comprises more than 99.5 per cent of the REE content.
These liquors are being processed to prepare final products – NdPr oxide and SEG-HRE carbonate – for assessment by potential customers in Arafura’s target jurisdictions which include Japan, China and the USA.