Alkane signs MOU for rare earths production
Alkane Resources has signed an MOU with Japan’s Shin-Etsu for its Dubbo zirconia and rare earths project (DZP), to be converted into off take agreements as the project progresses.
The DZP's process plant.
The MOU relates to toll processing of all of the DZP’s heavy and light rare earths concentrates. Alkane said Shin-Etsu will produce high purity separated rare earth oxides and improve recoveries from the DZP’s ore to rare earth concentrates.
According to Alkane, the MOU will increase revenue over the base case assumption for both heavy and light rare earth concentrates.
The base case in the feasibility study, from September 2011, based on a 1mtpa production model, indicated annual revenue for light and heavy rare earths would be just under $200m, bringing 39% of annual project revenue of $500m.
This was based on an estimated production of 1120tpa of heavy rare earths and 3050tpa of light rare earths. Estimated revenue components of the DZP are approximately 39% from zirconium, 22% from niobium, 21% light rare earths and 18% heavy rare earths.