Premier Signals The Start Of A New Heavy Rare Earths Project

Premier Signals The Start Of A New Heavy Rare Earths Project

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan

Jobs Boost With First Heavy Rare Earths Project Outside China

Victor P Taffa

  • $56 Million heavy rare earths pilot project gets under way in the Kimberley
  • Project to create 95 jobs during construction and operation

Premier Mark McGowan has turned the sod at a new heavy rare earths project in the Kimberley, which is expected to create 95 jobs in its initial phase.

$56 Million project, which is located about 160 km south-east of Halls Creek, is being developed by Northern Minerals Ltd and will take about 11 months to build.

“This project provides vital economic development and employment opportunities to the Kimberley community, with 50 construction jobs and 45 ongoing operational positions.” Premier Mark McGowan said.

Northern Minerals plans to conduct a three-year trial, processing 60,000 tonnes of ore p.a. to produce mixed rare earth carbonate, including dysprosium and terbium.

Dysprosium is a sought-after, heavy rare earth element used in a variety of high-tech manufacturing processes. Dysprosium and terbium are a key component of highly energy-efficient permanent magnet motors used in electric vehicles, wind turbines, air conditioning, and industrial robots.

If successful, the company plans to proceed with a full-scale plant with an expected capital expenditure of $329 Million and up to 680 new jobs across construction and operations.

Proponents have signed an agreement with the Jaru people, guaranteeing that at least 20 % of the workforce for the full-scale project will be from the local Aboriginal community.