Australian rare earths company Northern Minerals has started commissioning of its crushing circuit at its 100 per cent-owned Browns Range pilot plant project in Western Australia, a development referred to as “a major milestone” by the company.
The commission of the crusher circuit is also the first phase of commissioning for Browns Range overall, intended to become the first major dysprosium producer outside of China, a rare earth element used in the construction of DyNdFeB (dysprosium neodymium iron-boron) magnets, which are in demand in clean energy solutions, including electric vehicle components.
“It is a great testament to everyone involved at Browns Range that we are at the commissioning phase 12 months after approval by the board,” said Northern Minerals managing director George Bauk. “The focus of the team is on completing the installation and moving to the heavy rare earth carbonate production phase in the September quarter.”
The pilot plant project is the first of three planned stages for Northern Minerals operations at Browns Range; following completion of the test pilot plant the company will move into the second stage of project development by developing a bankable feasibility study and in stage three, will build the project to full-scale production, processing 585,000t per annum to produce 279,000kg of dysprosium.