Both parties intent to formalize the deal within 12 months of signing the MOU. The agreement is Hasting Technology Metals’ first offtake for its Yangibana project in Western Australia; the company’s share price jumped 33.33 percent on Tuesday (August 1) after the news was made public.
Sky Rock produces sintered neodymium magnets and samarium cobalt magnets. The high-powered magnets are sold to companies that use them in computers, mobile phones, motors for electric vehicles and audio-video systems.
Yangibana is currently under development, and will eventually consist of a mine and processing plant. Hastings Technology Metals expects to complete a definitive feasibility study for the project by Q4 2017. Yangibana’s resource totals 17.02 million tonnes at 1.27 percent total rare earth oxides.
In addition to Yangibana, Hastings Technology Metals has another rare earths project in Western Australia that is in the drilling stage. It is known as the Brockman project, and is considered to be Australia’s largest heavy rare earths development. According to the company, the property contains dysprosium and yttrium, plus rare metals niobium and zirconium.
Australia as a rare earths producer
China produces about 85 percent of the world’s rare earths, and its dominance has raised concerns over supply. Australia is the world’s second-largest producer of the metals, according to 2016 data from the US Geological Survey.
Other Australian rare earths projects include the Northern Minerals’ (ASX:NTU) Browns Range three-year pilot plant operation, which will process 60,000 tonnes of ore per year to produce the in-demand magnet metals dysprosium and terbium. Northern Minerals’ mine, which will feed the plant at Browns Range, is under construction, but is expected to begin production in mid-2018.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Shaw, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.