Hastings Technology Metals (HAS) is on track to become Australia’s next rare earth producer from its Yangibana project in Western Australia’s Gascoyne region.
Main construction is due to begin later this year, with first concentrate to be produced at the end of 2024.
The Yangibana deposit, 250 kilometres northeast of Carnarvon, is rich in neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr), both of which are expected to have significant demand growth over the coming years, in the transition to clean energy.
The rare earth elements are used to produce permanent magnets that run wind turbines and electric vehicle motors, and are important in defence and other applications.
Hastings CEO Alwyn Vorster said stage one would include mining and beneficiation of one million tonnes of ore each year, producing 40,000 tonnes of rare earth concentrate.
Stage two would see concentrate transported to a proposed plant at Onslow for cracking, leaching and drying to produce 15,000 tonnes of mixed rare earth carbonate (MREC) at 59 per cent rare earth oxides.
“Once operational, we anticipate Yangibana will fill six to eight per cent of the gap set to arise through global growth in NdPr demand,” Mr Vorster said.
“We are confident that this world-class project will establish Hastings as a significant player in the critical minerals sector and as a generator of strong returns for our shareholders, the domestic economy and local communities.”