Australian Heavy Rare Earth Concentrate Will be Processed at USA Rare Earth and Texas Mineral Resources’ New Colorado Pilot Plant
December 22, 2019
USA Rare Earth LLC, the funding and development partner of the Round Top Heavy Rare Earth and Critical Minerals Project (Texas) with Texas Mineral Resources Corp. (OTCQB: TMRC), is pleased to announce a strategic relationship with Australia’s Arafura Resources Limited (ASX: ARU) (Arafura or the Company), developer of its 100 per cent-owned Nolans
Bore Neodymium-Praseodymium (NdPr) deposit in the Northern
Territory, Australia. Under the terms of a Letter of Intent, Arafura will send Heavy Rare Earth (HREE) concentrate from Nolans for processin
g at USA Rare Earth’s Colorado pilot plant.
“As the U.S. and Australia are partner nations in the NTIB – the National Technology Industrial Base, and have announced a collaboration on strategic minerals exploration, extraction, processing and research, and development of rare earths and high performance metals, our collaboration with Arafura is also an example of concrete steps demonstrating how the U.S. and Australia can address the need for a reliable rare earth supply chain independent of China,” said Pini Althaus, CEO of USA Rare Earth. “Our collaboration with Arafura also underscores the versatility of our Continuous Ion Exchange/Continuous Ion Chromatography (CIX-CIC) processing method that enables us to work with feedstock from projects other than our Round Top deposit.”
“Arafura and the Australian Government, championed by the initiatives of Austrade, have combined to strengthen the working relationships with our U.S counterparts and we are excited to be playing our part in helping to establish a secure, long term supply of rare earths critical to the world. It’s an exciting opportunity for Arafura to expand its customer potential and work with USA Rare Earth and our NTIB allies. “said Gavin Lockyer, Managing Director of Arafura Resources.
In 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison agreed that the United States and Australia – partners in the NTIB -- will work together on strategic minerals exploration, extraction, processing and research, and development of rare earths and high-performance metals. On November 19, 2019, the U.S. and Australia formalized their partnership on developing both nations’ critical mineral assets, with a project agreement signed by Geoscience Australia and the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The signing paves the way for both nations to work more closely on understanding each country’s geological resource potential for critical minerals, including rare earth elements, and developing a pathway to supply arrangements.
USA Rare Earth and Arafura agreed in the Letter of Intent to execute a Definitive Agreement in Q1 2020. “We’ve demonstrated the versatility of CIX-CIC in successful grants for the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy,” said Dan Gorski, CEO of TMRC and Round Top Project Manager for USA Rare Earth. “We look forward to showing how our method can work on Australian feedstock, as we establish a robust rare earth oxide supply chain.”