Funding, News, Rare earths

Arafura locks in millions from Canada

Arafura Rare Earths is raising money to support its Nolan project, helping to make the NT one of the only sources of important critical minerals.

Arafura Rare Earths has secured up to $US300 million ($449 million) in debt finance from Export Development Canada (EDC) – Canada’s export credit agency – for its Nolans rare earths project in the Northern Territory.

The facility will have a 12-year tenor and follows a $840 million debt funding package from the Federal Government earlier this year.

Arafura has now received conditional approvals for 68 per cent of the targeted $US775 million ($1.16 billion) senior debt funding for the Nolans project.

“Debt financing from EDC signifies the increasing geostrategic importance of the Nolans project and securing global diversity in the NdPr (neodymium and praseodymium) supply chain,” Arafura managing director Darryl Cuzzubbo said.

“EDC has responded strongly to Nolans as a strategic opportunity that will underpin the electrification economy … We are thrilled to be working with EDC and remain impressed with their innovative thinking and commitment to accelerating a lower carbon future.

“This announcement today brings us closer to a final investment decision on the Nolans project.”

Located 135km north of Alice Springs, the Nolans project will comprise a mine, process plant and related infrastructure. The project is aimed at mining the rare earth elements neodymium and praseodymium, two highly sought-after magnet materials.

The Nolans project’s total capital expenditure is currently estimated at more than $1.5 billion. Arafura is currently working with a group of foreign and domestic commercial banks to secure the remaining funding required to develop the project. 

Arafura also has binding offtake agreements in place with Hyundai Motor Company and Kia in South Korea and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy in Germany.

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