Ensuring rare earths supply security is high on many national agendas. A new agreement between South Korea and Arafura will facilitate access to product from the company’s Nolans project.

Under the Joint Statement of Cooperation, South Korean government agency Korea Mine Rehabilitation and Mineral Resources Corporation (KOMIR) has agreed to support development of Nolans, which is known for its high levels of valuable neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) and assist in the export of rare earths products.

NdPr has a range of high-tech applications, specifically the permanent magnets used in electric vehicle motors and wind turbines.

Arafura Resources (ASX:ARU) and KOMIR will focus on expanding cooperation in several areas including information sharing on the development of the Nolans project for participation by Korean investors; the import of rare earth products into Korea and the use of strategic stockpiling.

“The Arafura board of directors and our management team welcome this recognition of our relationship with Korea and the opportunities it will facilitate to deliver supply of NdPr from the Nolans Project to the Korean market,” chairman Mark Southey said.

“This is another milestone that indicates the global significance of Nolans, and international interest in the project’s capacity to provide a reliable, secure supply of what is a critical product.”

Managing director Gavin Lockyer added that the next 12 months would be significant for the company as it worked toward a final investment decision for Nolans in the second half of 2022, whilst progressing advanced negotiations on senior debt facilities and offtake agreements.

An Australian source of critical rare earth supplies

The Nolans project in the Northern Territory has an ore reserve of 29.5 million tonnes grading 2.9 per cent total rare earth oxides with high-value NdPr making up 26.4 per cent of the rare earths content.

Net present value and internal rate of return, both measures of profitability, have been estimated at $1.4bn and 18.1% respectively.

Importantly, the project could meet more than 5% of the world’s demand for NdPr oxide.




This article was developed in collaboration with Arafura Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.