Hastings Technology Metals has re-activated a contract with FLSmidth for the design and construction of an acid-bake kiln at the Yangibana rare earths project in Western Australia.
The contract was originally awarded to the manufacturer in 2018 and will now begin immediately, with commissioning scheduled for the second half of 2024.
The design has already been completed for the $17.4 million contract, and Hastings chief operating officer Andrew Reid was confident in FLSmidth’s ability to deliver.
“The acid-baked rotary kiln is an internationally sourced long lead-time item required for the hydrometallurgical plant at Onslow,” he said.
“Hastings has chosen a trusted, industry-leading supplier for the kiln and the fabrication of this important piece of equipment ensures that the Yangibana construction can continue to gather pace as we target a 2H 2024 commissioning date.”
The kiln is 75 metres long and four metres wide, and will be used in the downstream processing of the Yangibana rare earths product.
In November 2018, as the contract was awarded, FLSmidth Australian head of mining Laurie Barlow said this was a good chance to prove the company’s prowess in minerals processing.
“The order of an acid-bake rotary kiln to the Hastings Technology Metals Yangibana Rare Earths Project in Australia is significant for FLSmidth on a global perspective,” Barlow said.
“It recognises the ability of FLSmidth to provide technology for the processing of rare earths.
“The general growth in demand for battery minerals has allowed us to use pyrometallurgical processing experience to facilitate the needs of our fast-growing customers – but now it has also allowed us to expand our business into neodymium and praseodymium production.”
Yangibana is slated to produce some of the world’s highest composition of neodymium and praseodymium concentrate, with a total rare earths oxide grade of 1.17 per cent and neodymium plus praseodymium grades of 0.39 per cent.
The recommencement of the contract was recently backed by a $140 million loan from the Federal Government’s Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).
The loan is also in use to progress the $20 million early infrastructure works package which has continued with the clearing of a 300-person village area.