Arafura Resources Limited (ASX:ARU) has reached several milestones needed to progress the development of its Nolans Neodymium-Praseodymium (NdPr) Project in the Northern Territory.
These include Major Project Status (MPS) renewal from the Australian Government, mineral leases granted from the NT Government, the signing of the Native Title Agreement plus the completion of a $7 million placement to fund project development.
The company is ready to commence project development once offtake and funding have been secured.
Major project status
The company recently secured MPS renewal from the Australian Government for another three years.
This acknowledges Nolans as a strategically significant Australian critical minerals and advanced materials development project and provides access to a range of Australian Government services and programs.
The MPS allows a single entry point for a range of Australian Government coordination services, including helping to map out the projects commercial compliance obligations and assisting with identifying suitable government employment and training programs that supports Arafuras efforts in delivering jobs and investment opportunities to Central Australia.
Supporting the NT economy
The Australian Governments renewal of MPS coincides with the grant of Arafuras cornerstone development tenure at Nolans and the companys formal submission to the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission which is tasked with developing strategies to accelerate the progress of investment-ready long-life critical minerals projects like Nolans as an engine for economic growth of the Northern Territory.
The project represents a unique opportunity for Australia to diversify the rare earths supply chain, increase advanced materials manufacturing and potentially seed new high technology downstream industries from one of the worlds safest and most secure jurisdictions.
Arafura is positioned to play a key role in addressing the fragile nature of or gaps in critical minerals supply chains that have been brought into greater focus by commercial disruptions caused by international trade tensions and COVID-19.
Mineral leases granted
Arafura also jumped the final regulatory hurdle for the project with the granting of mineral leases (MLs) by the NT Government.
This key milestone secures the Nolans Bore mineral resource for an initial period of 25 years.
The MLs, which will host the Nolans mine, process plant, waste storage facilities and accommodation village, were granted to Arafuras wholly-owned subsidiary Arafura Rare Earths Pty Ltd (ARE) by Northern Territory Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Paul Kirby.
Nolans Project location
Native Title Agreement
This comes after the signing of the projects Native Title Agreement (NTA) last month by Anmatyerr native title holders and Central Land Council (CLC) who, in so doing, gave their consent to the grant of all the MLs allowing for multiple renewals beyond the initial grant term.
The grant process provides Arafura with the exclusive right to mine and to occupy the primary mineral lease, ML 26659, ancillary mineral leases, MLs 30702 to 30704, 32411 to 32416 and related access authorities.
These mineral leases host the mine, process plant, tailings and process residues containment facilities, accommodation village, borefield and the infrastructure elements of the Nolans operation.
Under the terms of the Native Title Agreement:
- Arafura personnel who work at the operation will undergo cultural awareness induction and training;
- Arafura commits to provide employment and training as well as business opportunities for the native title holders and local Aboriginal people to win contract work from ARE;
- ARE acknowledges its environmental commitments and responsibilities and its duty to protect sacred sites and sacred objects; and
- ARE agrees to processes and information sharing to ensure its agreed commitments are met.
The Native Title Agreement also pRead More – Source