Arafura Resources has announced a significant resource upgrade at its Nolans rare-earths phosphate- uranium project in the Northern Territory.
A total resource of 30.3 million tonnes has been identified, representing a 62.9% increase on previously announced resource estimates, establishing Nolans as a rare earths deposit of global significance.
A recent analysis of the relative abundances of individual rare earth elements in the Nolans deposit revealed an enhanced content in high-value europium and neodymium.
Europium is an essential element in the production of phosphors which are used in energy efficient lighting and in plasma panel screens for televisions and computer monitors.
The demand for these products is currently growing at an annual rate of 15-20%.
Neodymium is used in the production of high-strength permanent magnets used in the electric motors of hybrid vehicles and wind turbines.
The magnets help achieve reductions in fuel consumption and superior output.
Market growth for neodymium magnets is currently 15-20% per annum.
The growth in demand for both europium and neodymium is being driven by the need to deliver energy efficient solutions to transport and power generation.