Rare earth miner talks end

Rare earths miner Arafura has ended talks with Chinese company Jiangsu.

Rare Earths explorer Arafura Resources has ended talks with a Chinese company regarding vanadium deposits in the Northern Territory.

Arafura was previously in talks with the Chinese investment firm Jiangsu Eastern China Non-Ferrous Metals Investment Holding Co Ltd after signing a Letter of Intent (LOI) in April 2009, which would have seen Jiangsu acquire just over half of Arafura’s Jervois vanadium tenements at a cost of $8 million.

The LOI lapsed on Monday after a number of conditions had not been met, Arafura stated.

The miner “will pursue other interested parties,” it announced.

The company has previously announced its intention to carry out a capital raising on the open market to secure $17.5 million in funding through the placement of 28.2 million shares at $.62 per share.

It will use the capital raised to develop its Nolans rare earths project in the Northern Territory, completing a bankable feasibility study by the end of this year.

Arafura is aiming to be in production by 2013, with production geared towards 20 000 tonnes of rare earth oxides per annum.

Jiangsu is a subsidiary of East China Exploration, which currently holds a 24.8% stake in the rare earths miner Arafura.

Currently China is the world’s largest rare earths producer, holding approximately 90% of global supply while generating 95% of output.

Rare earths are used in rechargeable batteries and for other green technologies, with the minerals seeing an increased demand as the development of hybrid vehicle technology continues.

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