Arafura Resources Ltd (ASX:ARU) has been able to effect a reduction in projected operating costs in an independent engineering analysis of the Nolans Rare Earth Project in the Northern Territory.
Operating costs have been reduced to A$12.36 per kilogram of total rare earth oxides from the previous A$14.51 per kilogram.
The savings were identified from work in three key areas:
- Resizing of equipment identified in capital review studies;
- Process efficiencies resulting in less reagents; and
- Lower required work force.
These reduced operating costs help the project remain entrenched in the lowest quartile of the cost curve.
Further cost improvements will assist the company to advance and finance the project.
The Nolans project contains the elements neodymium and praseodymium, which have been resilient to recent price falls in rare earths due to their use in magnets.
These magnets are driving further efficiencies in hybrid and electric vehicles, wind turbines and electronic devices.
Arafura recorded a strong cash balance of $13.5 million at the end of March.
The company expects to lodge its Environmental Impact Statement with the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority during the June quarter.
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