Hastings Technology Metals has awarded the engineering, procurement and contract management (EPCM) contract for the Yangibana rare earths processing plant to DRA Pacific.
The Upper Gascoyne benefaction and hydro metallurgy processing plant will treat rare earth monazite deposits, high in neodymium and praseodymium, to produce a mixed earth carbonate.
The carbonate will then be refined further into individual rare earth oxides at overseas processing plants.
Neodymium and praseodymium are fundamental components for manufacturing products such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, robotics and medical applications.
DRA has already been involved with the project, having run a series of engineering studies at Yangibana in 2018 and 2019.
The EPCM contract will cover the design and construction of the processing facility and other associated non-processing infrastructure, capable of producing 15,000 tonnes of mixed rare earth carbonate annually.
Hastings executive chairperson Charles Lew said DRA was the logical choice for this contract, given the close working relationship between the two companies, and its experience in rare earths processing plant design.
“We are pleased to have DRA involved in the construction of the Yangibana processing plant,” Lew said.
“Their knowledge and experience in developing successful minerals processing projects makes them the ideal candidate to manage the construction of our project.
“The award of the EPCM contract moves the Yangibana rare earths project firmly into development phase to commence execution and progress to production of our mixed rare earth carbonate by 2022.”
The EPCM contract is the largest dollar value project associated with the Yangibana project, valued at approximately $350 million.
Hastings is aiming to become the next significant producer of neodymium and praseodymium outside of China.