Manufacturing News

NAIF invests $220 million into WA rare earths project

NAIF invests $220 million into WA rare earths project

The Federal Government’s NAIF has increased financial support for rare earths producer Hastings Technology Metals‘ Yangibana Rare Earths Project.

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), a key funding pillar driving the Australian Government’s Northern Australia agenda, will provide a $220 million loan to Hastings Technology Metals Ltd to help fund the construction of a rare earths mine, processing plants and associated infrastructure.

The 12.5-year tenor loan loan has been approved by the NAIF Board and considered by minister for Northern Australia, Madeleine King.

The increased support from NAIF is in recognition of the global need for rare earth magnets required in the drive towards cleaner and renewable sources of energy.

Charles Lew, Hastings’ executive chairman, said, “Hastings is very pleased with the increased support from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for the Yangibana Rare Earths Project. The higher loan quantum is recognition of the significant work that
Hastings has done to progress construction activities to become Australia’s next rare earth producer.”

The shift towards a lower carbon future will only be achieved by having available the critical raw materials required for the technologies that deliver this outcome. Rare earth
metals are integral to the manufacture of permanent magnets used in electric vehicles (EV’s) and the decarbonisation of the energy sector through wind turbines as well as a host of other high-tech applications.

The NAIF loan represents more than half of the A$400 million of total debt funding required for Yangibana and is aligned with Australia’s Critical Minerals Strategy and the Western Australian Government’s Future Battery Industry Strategy.

The Yangibana project, which comprises a mine and beneficiation plant at the Yangibana site and a hydrometallurgical plant at the Ashburton North Strategic Industrial Area (ANSIA) near Onslow, will become Australia’s second rare earths producer and expands the country’s strategic capability in downstream processing of rare earths minerals.

Hastings is well advanced on construction of the enabling infrastructure at Yangibana ahead of commencing plant construction in 2023 and has commenced site works at the Onslow hydrometallurgical plant site.

Activity levels at both sites will increase substantially during 2023 as plant construction commences and the construction workforce expands. Yangibana will support a peak construction workforce of nearly 500 in the Upper Gascoyne and Lower Pilbara regions of Western Australia and create more than 250 steady state operational jobs at commencement of operations.

“Hastings is advancing the Yangibana Rare Earths Project in parallel with progressing the Hastings 2.0 mine-to-magnet strategy with a clear focus on delivering the critical minerals required for decarbonisation technologies into a strategically aligned supply chain,” Lew added.

“The increased NAIF loan and the financial support from Wyloo Metals via the recent $150M Exchangeable Note reinforces Hastings continued progress to have Yangibana fully funded in conjunction with its strategy of developing an integrated mine to magnet supply chain that is responsibly sourced, ESG compliant and aligns with the critical minerals strategies of Australia and the European Union.”

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