Following the announcement of a $100 million funding support for the Yangibana Rare Earths Project earlier this year, Hastings Technology Metals is progressing the development of the project with the award of a new contract.
Hastings Technology Metals and GR Engineering Services Limited have both announced the award of a $210 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract – through a binding term sheet – for the beneficiation plant and associated infrastructure for the Yangibana Rare Earths Project.
“The appointment of GR Engineering, one of Australia’s leading process engineering companies, for the construction of the Yangibana plant marks an important milestone on Hastings’ path to first rare earth concentrate production by late 2024. Achieving a fixed price EPC contract significantly reduces the risk of ongoing cost increases, which was a key objective set by the Hastings Board for interim CEO Alwyn Vorster when he joined in late 2022.
“With $221 million in contractual commitments already made to date on the world-class Yangibana project, we remain confident it is well-positioned to move into main construction in Q3 CY2023, establishing Hastings as a significant player in the critical minerals sector and generating strong returns for our shareholders,” Hastings Technology Metals Executive Chairman Charles Lew said.
The EPC contract includes $180 million for the delivery of the beneficiation plant and $30 million mainly for earthworks associated with the plant and tailings storage facility.
GR Engineering will commence works immediately under an early works agreement over the next three months.
“GR Engineering is pleased to have received the binding term sheet for this world class rare earths project in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. It will be exciting to work on this project as it is focused on globally critical minerals that are used as key components for electric vehicles and wind turbines. We look forward to engaging closely with the Hastings team to deliver safe and successful outcomes for this project,” GR Engineering Managing Director Tony Patrizi said.
Project location (source: Hastings Technology Metals)
Under their contract, GR Engineering will undertake the design and construction of the Yangibana beneficiation plant, including engineering, manufacture, supply, installation, commissioning, and testing of the new facility over an estimated 18-month period.
Once up and running, the beneficiation plant will have a feed capacity of about 1 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) as well as an output capacity of 35,000 tonnes per annum of rare earth concentrate.
“GR Engineering has a strong track record in the design, construction and commissioning of mineral processing plants across a range of commodities. Considering the current construction industry cost pressures, the EPC contract with GR Engineering is a positive step to reduce overall cost and schedule risk for our shareholders and lenders.
“The EPC contract is an important outcome of the project review initiatives which are close to being finalised and will set out the overall project execution strategy, capital cost and schedule, enabling the Company to clarify its medium to long term funding requirements,” Hastings Technology Metals Chief Executive Officer Alwyn Vorster said.
The Yangibana Rare Earths Project is located in the Gascoyne region, approximately 250 kilometres north east of Carnarvon, covering around 650 square kilometres of land that contains substantial Neodymium and Praseodymium resources.
The overall Yangibana Project is anticipated to support up to 500 full-time construction jobs as well as about 250 operational jobs.
Source: GR Engineering Services Limited; Hastings Technology Metals (1, 2); NS Energy; Mining.com.au; International Mining