Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner
Arafura Resources Invest More In The Territory
Victor P Taffa
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said this week’s announcement by Arafura Resources to build a Separation Plant for its Nolans Rare Earth Project in the Northern Territory was a significant vote of investor confidence in the Northern Territory.
“Creating local jobs is the Northern Territory Government’s number one priority.” Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.
“This announcement is a significant vote of investor confidence in the Northern Territory and will contribute to the creation of around 500 construction jobs with 350-370 jobs during operations across the project.”
Announcement follows a record year for mineral production in the Territory $4.49 Billion in 2017/18, up 24 % on the previous year, which was a record at $3.63 Billion.
Arafura Resources has been determining the feasibility of locating the Separation Plant for its Nolans Rare Earth Project in either the Northern Territory or South Korea for a number of years. Originally, the preferred site was an industrial estate in South Korea.
“Our Government is delivering more local jobs by encouraging diversification, accelerating new projects and creating new industries.” Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Ken Vowles said.
“Mining is an economic strength of the Territory. With this announcement today, the Territory is showing it can also deliver local value-added processing to our mineral resources.”
Northern Territory Government has been working with Arafura throughout 2018 to secure the Separation Plant for the Territory.
Arafura has advised the Australian Stock Exchange that it will be locating its Separation Plant at its Nolans mine site approximately 135 km north of Alice Springs. The company is expected to spend around US$80 Million building the Separation Plant, to potentially begin in late 2019, creating an additional 30 ongoing jobs within the Separation Plant and boosting the company’s operational workforce for the Nolans Project to around 370.
“Nolans will soon represent a new long-term, secure supply of high value rare earth products which are key to e-mobility and clean energy supply chains.” Arafura Resources Managing Director Gavin Lockyer said.
“At a proposed output of 3.600 tonnes p.a. of Neodymium/Praseodymium oxide, this equates to an amount of material sufficient to produce approximately 2 Million electric vehicles for over 30 years.”
Separation Plant represents to the Territory an:
- Increase in the number of operational jobs and their skill level;
- Increase in the capital expenditure;
- Increase in the value of the Territory’s exports;
- Indication of investor confidence in the ability of the Territory to help deliver a complex project.
Northern Territory Government has recently established a new Local Jobs Fund to create more local jobs immediately.
Significant job creating projects, which are advanced in their development like the Nolans project is, may be able to seek finance through the Fund.