• RareX is hunting for projects to feed the European and US markets
  • Cummins Range REE project remains a priority development for the Asian markets
  • Rare earths prices have bottomed, indicating huge upside potential for other projects


Special Report: While developing one of Australia’s most promising rare earths projects in Northern Australia, RareX is on the hunt for new projects to develop and feed into rising global demand. 

RareX’s (ASX:REE) Cummins Range project is Australia’s largest undeveloped rare earths asset containing 44Mt @ 1% total rare earth oxide (TREO) within a larger resource of 519Mt @ 0.31% TREO and 4.6% P2O5 (phosphate) for a contained 24Mt of phosphate and 1.6Mt TREO. 

Near-mine anomalies at Cummins Range are set for an exploration target and have the potential to materially add to the project’s NPV, RareX believes, considering it is already attractive at a little under $350m for a modest capital outlay, according to the September 2023 scoping study.


Rare earths market uptick

While RareX recognises the current depressed rare earths market, it is anticipating a price rebound due to strong demand forecasts for strategic energy and electronic applications – and is leveraging itself to price increases and supply chain de-risking.

Reuters recently reported that prices of rare earths are poised to rise later this year on the back of demand for EVs and wind power, as well as an expected pullback of output quotas from China. 

“The price in China of praseodymium oxide, one of the most widely used rare earth elements, fell 34% in 2023, while terbium oxide and neodymium oxide tumbled to their lowest levels since late 2020 last month, Shanghai Metals Market data showed,” the report said.

That sentiment is echoed by Reach Markets which cites that UBS holds a longer-term price outlook of US$95/kg and expects a recovery over the next 2-3 years to reach this target and analysts expect to see a US$75/kg NdPr price by the end of this year.

“More broadly, global TREO demand is expected to grow at 6% CAGR all the way through to 2035, driven primarily by the permanent magnet sector,” Reach says. 

“This is forecast to be five times the amount that China can supply.”


Portfolio growth

RareX says it’s positioned to pursue projects complementary to Cummins Range through its business development arm, RareXploration, and has been evaluating projects and jurisdictions for expansion, prioritising Canada and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

With proximity to the world’s largest market – the US – Canada, RareX says, represents a natural growth region where a project can be targeted to leverage the learnings and development stage of Cummins Range. 

RareX has been working with local geological consultants and to assess pre-screened opportunities and sees Canada as an attractive region to acquire a significant, advanced-stage exploration project.

After a recent visit to the Future Minerals Forum in Saudi Arabia, RareX says it intends to pursue low-risk, low-cost and high-opportunity partnerships with an experienced KSA-based firm to identify and secure a large, early-stage project.


Cummins Range

RareX says the off-take process for the development of Cummins Range is well under way in the Asia-Pacific – including in Australia and India – with the generation of substantial quantities of product and product derivative samples which continue to inform process design criteria.

The phosphate minerals endowment of Cummins Range could be a boon for the explorer, where it can bolster rare earths mineral income by supplying the LFP acid pre-cursor supply chain, also a natural hedge against commodity fluctuations.

RareX also has exposure to heavy rare earths via its Mount Mansbridge tenure, which is just 60km from Northern Minerals’ (ASX:NTU) Browns Range REE project in the NT.


RareX CEO James Durrant says Cummins Range is at a point where engineering works are substantively completed and the focus has shifted to preparing for the submission of project approvals and securing offtake – the latter being important to the conclusion of the PFS.

“This means the in-house engineering and geology teams have reserve capacity and we are very excited to turn this energy and capability towards the business development opportunities that the current market presents to us,” Durrant says.

“Importantly, this is not a distraction in any way from Cummins Range but is rather a way to maximise our position in this difficult market so that we may come out of it thriving, rather than having simply survived. 

“We stand by our firm belief in the rare earth fundamentals – and in the fundamentals of hard rock mineral exploitation – and this market presents us with an opportunity not to be missed.

“Our in-house team is fully capable of assessing and evaluating potential projects and resources and our global experience, as well as our critical evaluation of regions, has led us to focus our attention on carbonatites in the Arabian Peninsula and in eastern Canada.

“We believe that with our current team, our expert connections technically and corporately, and with the capability and support of the board, we have a real potential to grow at a time when others are shrinking. 

“Of course, we are also implementing cost-saving initiatives which will see us pare back slightly on our corporate overheads and we are consulting out some of the team to other businesses, which is excellent for their professional growth and the retention of our intellectual property.”



This article was developed in collaboration with RareX, 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.