Arafura Resources rare earths plant has been granted major project status.
The proposed $1 billion processing plant will be built near the Spencer Gulf in South Australia.
It is expected to create 300 jobs in the local area.
The State’s Mineral Resources Development minister Paul Holloway said that planning processes must begin as soon as possible.
He went on to say that the Development Assessment Commission will ask for a full environmental impact statement.
“It’s important that we begin the process now of considering the assessment of the project so that hopefully when these final commitments are made that there’ll be no time lost, or minimal time lost, in going through a planning process,” Holloway said.
The environmental assessment will also be scrutinised by the local Whyalla council.