Approx $1bn Nolans rare earths project in NT nears construction

Monica Gameng   |   May 28, 2022
Arafura project site (cr: ABC News)

The Northern Territory will soon see the development of a new rare earths mine that has the potential to create hundreds of jobs following the announcement of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Arafura Resources and Hyundai Motor Company. 

The MoU for an offtake agreement will help further secure the development of the Nolans Project and will push the project towards Final Investment Decision (FID). The offtake agreement will include the supply of about 1,000 to 1,500 tonnes per annum of NdPr Oxide from the Nolans Project over a seven-year period. 

“We look forward with great optimism about the next steps in the offtake agreement process and the impetus this will provide for the development of our rare earths deposit at Nolans, which is strategically and economically important for the Northern Territory, our local communities and for Australia. 

“We are delighted with the relationship that we have been developing with Hyundai over a sustained period of time and our growing connection with other organisations in South Korea focused on the electric vehicle market,” Arafura Resources Managing Director Gavin Lockyer said. 

Nolans Rare Earths Project – located about 135 kilometres north of Alice Springs – will have an initial operational life of 38 years and the development will comprise of a mine, processing plant – including beneficiation, extraction and separation plants – as well as other related infrastructure. 

The project is well-advanced and it is anticipated to deliver significant economic and employment opportunities for Central Australia and the Northern Territory. 

“It is estimated that over 600 jobs will be created during the construction phase of this project and 280 jobs during the operational phase. 

“We are delivering on our promise to make the Territory a world-class hub for resources and critical minerals – creating more jobs, jobs, jobs for Territorians,” Minister for Mining and Industry Nicole Manison said. 

Nolans_project_location_new_colours_vvProject location (source: Arafura Resources)

The Northern Territory Government is staying committed to growing the local economy to $40 billion by 2030, with 21 mine developments currently progressing towards FID that has a combined value of $7 billion and have the potential to generate more than 5,000 construction jobs along with 3,500 ongoing jobs. 

“Today’s announcement by Arafura Resources is big news for the Territory and Territorians. 

“The Territory Labor Government is working very hard to make the Northern Territory the best place for exploration and mining investment in Australia,” Chief Minister Natasha Fyles said. 

The Nolans Project is estimated to cost about $1 billion to develop and build. 

First production of NdPr Oxide from the Nolans Project is anticipated in 2025, with the mine expected to be at full production capacity by 2027. 

Source: Northern Territory Government – Media Release; The West Australian; Arafura Resources (1, 2); Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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