Project at a glance
Arafura Rare Earths Ltd is proposing to develop the Nolans Rare Earths project (the Project), which will encompass a mine, beneficiation plant, extraction plant, separation plant, sulphuric acid plant and related non-process infrastructure, to be constructed in the Northern Territory. The project site is located on Aileron Station, approximately 135 kilometres NW of Alice Springs.
The Project mining operation will use conventional open-pit truck and excavator mining methods, supplemented by drill and blasting for ore and waste. A JORC-compliant Ore Reserve supports an initial mine life of 38 years, with mining and processing of all known mineral resources extending the project's operational life to beyond 45 years. Ore Reserves are based on an average mining rate of 7.6 million tonnes per annum to produce 1 to 1.3 million tonnes of ROM ore each year and 316,000 tpa of concentrate through the hydrometallurgical plant to produce a range of rare earth products and a phosphoric acid by-product.
The Project is well developed, with vendors of mechanical long lead items identified and vendor data procured throughout 2022 to facilitate front-end engineering and design (FEED). The Project has identified its major construction contractor for the hydrometallurgical plant and has engaged it initially on an early contractor involvement (ECI) basis late in 2022. Additionally, the Project has secured supply of its sulphuric acid plant (SAP), awarding this package in December 2022. Moving into quarter one of 2023, a contractor for construction of the beneficiation plant will be identified, this package having been tendered late 2022, and early/enabling works contracts awarded, including bulk earthworks, construction camp supply and installation, and borefields and HDPE pipelines supply, and installation, packages.
The Project, subject to its final investment decision (FID) expects to commence construction proper mid-2023, continuing through 2024.
Vendors, sub-vendors and sub-contractors are encouraged to submit expressions of interest, which will be passed to the Project's contractors for review and action.