Northern Minerals boosts Browns Range pilot development

Browns Range pilot plant at night. Image: Northern Minerals

Northern Minerals will launch an ambitious ramp up of exploration and development at its Browns Range rare earths project in Western Australia after securing new funding.

The company has received firm commitments from both Australian and international investors for $30 million, with payment to be split into three tranches at 6.2 cents per share.

It is the latest in a string of capital raisings for the project, building on $15 million that Northern Minerals secured in April and another $22 million in June.

Northern Minerals reported the ongoing trade tensions between the United States and China had contributed to a strong showing for the latest raising, with the dysprosium price increasing by around 55 per cent to $300 per kilogram in 2019.

The company plans to prioritise ore sorting and product separation, as well as extend exploration at Browns Range to potentially expand the project’s mine life. The funds from the raising will be used to acquire an ore sorter and to undertake separation testwork at overseas locations due to a lack of local facilities for separating rare earths.

“The current pilot plant configuration produces a mixed heavy rare earth carbonate, which requires downstream processing in China to separate it into individual higher value rare earth oxides (i.e. dysprosium oxide, terbium oxide),” Northern Minerals stated.

“In order to capture additional margin and transact directly with end users, the company plans to investigate the potential for the addition of separation technology to its existing processing capabilities.”

Northern Minerals will explore several identified targets at the site with follow-up drilling during the second half of 2019. 

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