Nolans Project

Contact Details

  Sarah Jericho
  (08) 8951 5457

  Locations: NT Australia
  Project Value: AU$970M
  Project Status: Feasibility & EIS
  Project Owner Arafura Resources Limited

Project Details

Arafura's development of the Nolans Rare Earths (RE) Project will encompass a Mine, Beneficiation Plant, Extraction Plant and related infrastructure to be constructed and located at the Nolans site in the Northern Territory, and a Separation Plant to be constructed and located within an established chemical industry precinct at an offshore location. The Nolans site is located on Aileron Station, approximately 135 kilometres NNW of Alice Springs.

The cornerstone of the Nolans project is a large, low risk, 56 million tonnes JORC-compliant mineral resource at surface and has been determined by drilling to extend to depths beyond 220 metres. The Company holds secure mineral title over the entire project area.

The Nolans mining operation will use conventional open-pit truck and excavator mining methods, supplemented by drilling and blasting for ore and waste.  Pit optimisation studies have generated schedules showing a mine life beyond 20 years. A strategic mining schedule is based on a average mining rate of 5 million tonnes per annum to produce 525,000 tonnes of ROM ore each year.

The projects process flowsheet has been developed by the Company from detailed, extensive and rigorous testing through a number of phases of laboratory, pilot plant and demonstration plant scales. Beneficiation at the Nolans mine site will comprise crushing, grinding, and flotation to produce a blended mineral concentrate. Concentrate will be pumped through a slurry pipeline to an Extraction Plant at the Nolans processing site. REs will be extracted from the concentrate by chemical processing to produce a high quality RE intermediate product. Waste rock, tailings, process residues and radionuclide retention will be confined to the Nolans site.

The Nolans mine site is located 10 kilometres west of the Stuart Highway, and 65 kilometres from the Darwin-Adelaide railway. The Amadeus Basin to Darwin natural gas pipeline passes directly adjacent to the Nolans processing site and within 5 kilometres of the mine. Access roads to and around the Nolans site have been positioned, site buildings have been specified, and a 400-person accommodation village has been conceptually designed. Raw and potable water sources adequate to service the life-of-operation have been identified SW and W of the processing site.

The infrastructure requirements for the Nolans project have been well defined through work undertaken to date on roads, buildings, communications, and power and water supply.  A power plant will be co-located with the Extraction Plant and a conservative approach has been taken to power generation requirements.

The proximity of the project to Alice Springs provides an opportunity to base much of the projects maintenance and operations infrastructure associated with its road transport operations in Alice Springs.

The Company expects around 90,000 tonnes per annum of in-bound raw materials to be delivered to the Nolans site, mostly as intermodal cargo.  Most inbound reagents will be containerised. Inbound sulfur will be containerised in Darwin and delivered to an on-site sulfur burning acid plant that will produce sulfuric acid for the Extraction Plant.  Hydrochloric acid will be shipped direct from suppliers or via Darwin in dedicated ISO tank containers for on-forwarding to Nolans. Out-bound RE intermediate product cargos will utilise the backhaul capability of the road and rail capacity and the Port of Darwin infrastructure. The RE intermediate product will be packed in bulk bags and transported in standard shipping containers via Darwin and international shipping routes to Arafuras offshore Separation Plant.

Arafura is targeting 14,000 tonnes of total rare earth oxide (TREO) output each year through the sale of three high-quality separated RE products from the offshore Separation Plant and a fourth, less refined RE product from the Nolans site. Most of the revenue from the project will be generated by the separated RE products that feed the highest value segments of the market with the strongest demand outlook. NdPr oxide in particular is in high demand from Japanese, Korean and European alloy and magnet producers for use in the automotive, clean energy, consumer electronics and healthcare sectors, and the Nolans project is strongly endowed in neodymium (Nd) and praseodymium (Pr) rare earths. NdPr oxide sales is anticipated to comprise some 85% of the projects projected revenue.

The Company will also produce 110,000 tonnes of merchant grade phosphoric acid at the Nolans site each year for direct sale into the domestic and south Asian agricultural fertilizer market.

Arafuras evaluation of the Nolans project indicates that it is financially robust and that it should provide a strong return on investment.


For more detailed information on the Nolans project download the Nolans Development Report or Project Fact Sheets listed below or visit


Project Documents


ARAFURA Community Bulletin 2017
Central Australia Regional Mining Seminar update March 2018
Fact Sheet 01: The Nolans Project
Fact Sheet 02: What Are Rare Earths
Fact Sheet 03: Environmental Studies
Fact Sheet 04: Radiation
Nolans Development Report September 2014


26/03/18 Arafura Awards Lead Engineering Contracts for Nolans Definitive Feasibility Study
Australian Government Environmental Approval Secured for Nolans Project
Arafura Resources Investor Presentation 30AUG18
Nolans Acid Bake Pilot Plant Complete
Nolans Project DFS - Progress Update
19/03/18 Appointment of Project Manager to Oversea Nolans Definitive Feasibility Study
Nolans Pilot Program Update
5/01/18 Nolans Project Recommended to NTG for Final Environmental Approval
24/10/17 $1.5m Capital Injection from Institutional and Sophisticated Investors
12/04/17 Nolans Phosphate Extraction Piloting Complete Media Release
20/02/17 Strong Support for Capital Raising to Progress Nolans Pilot Testing
20/02/17 Nolans Environmental Approvals Process Advances to Next Key Stage
16/12/16 Nolans Beneficiation Piloting Complete
22/09/16 Nolans Project Awarded Major Project Status
28/06/16 Nolans review completed Delivering Significant Cost and Operational Benefits
23/05/16 Environmental Impact Statement Submitted

Work Packages

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Nolans Project - Any Opportunities25 Aug 1525 Aug 19 
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