Australian heavy rare earths producer, Northern Minerals Limited has produced the first rare earth carbonate through its 60,000tpa Browns Range Pilot Plant.
The production of the first final product follows the commencement of commissioning of the $56m Pilot Plant in June.
According to the company, both the beneficiation and hydrometallurgical circuits having now been load commissioned and the focus is to progress to steady continuous operation of these circuits. The pilot plant development also provides the opportunity for Northern Minerals to gain production experience, surety of supply for their offtake partner and assess the economic and technical feasibility of the larger full-scale development.
Northern Minerals’ Managing Director and CEO, George Bauk said this is the first production of rare earth carbonate from xenotime ore outside China and represents a new global source of product.
“Commissioning is progressing well, and we look forward to the next milestone being the first shipment of product to our customers,” Mr Bauk said.
Through the flagship Browns Range Project, Northern Minerals aims to be the first significant world producer of dysprosium outside of China.
Located 160 kilometres south-east of Halls Creek in northern Western Australia, the project features deposits and prospects containing high-value dysprosium and other heavy rare earths.
More information on the Browns Range project can be found here.