The Western Australian Government has awarded Hastings Technology Metals with a works permit for the Yangibana rare earths process plant in the Upper Gascoyne region.
The facilities include process or benefaction of metallic or non-metallic ore; mine dewatering; electric power generation; Class II or III putrescible landfill site; bulk storage of chemicals; and a sewage facility.
The state’s Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has introduced a range conditions for the facilities under its works permit.
Hastings flagged the process plant as the most significant, with the permit including design and construction requirements, emission limits, monitoring requirements and compliance reporting for the plant.
Works at the project will begin once Hastings meets the approval conditions, which is now its priority.
Hastings chief operating officer Andrew Reid said the stringent approval process demonstrated that the project had the capacity to be environmentally responsible.
“While Hastings has received state and commonwealth environmental approvals, the additional focus and rigorous nature of this approval process on polluting facilities such as the process plant provides us and our shareholders with further confidence that the Yangibana project is able to meet the high regulatory standards set by the Western Australian (WA) government,” he said.
“The regulatory standards set by the WA government also provide the international community and our major offtake customer, Schaeffler Technologies AG with assurance that the extraction component of the rare earths supply chain is undertaken in an environmentally responsible manner.”
The Yangibana project hosts high neodymium and praseodymium contents which primarily are used in magnets.
It is set to encompass five open pit mines, groundwater abstraction, on-site ore processing, tailings storage facilities and a range of supporting infrastructure including haul roads and an air strip.