Arafura Resources Limited (ASX:ARU) has today issued the new shares associated with its oversubscribed share purchase plan (SPP) which raised more than $3 million.
The SPP saw shares issued at an offer price of 4.4 cents per new share with these to begin trading on the ASX next Monday.
The offer price for the new shares was equal to 80% of the volume weighted average market price (VWAP) for the 5-day period up to and including Thursday, December 13, 2018.
Arafura’s managing director Gavin Lockyer said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of the SPP and the level of support we received from our shareholders.
“The company is now well funded to advance the DFS for its 100%-owned and 100% Australian domiciled Nolans NdPr Project.”
Lockyer participated in the placement, purchasing more than 454,500 shares valued at $20,000 for two indirect interests.
One indirect interest now holds more than 552,000 shares and another now holds almost 746,000 shares.
Non-executive director Chris Tonkin also participated, acquiring shares with a total value of $5,000, lifting his total holding to more than 238,000.
Funds to advance Nolans project
SPP proceeds will be used to advance the Nolans Neodymium Praseodymium (NdPr) Project in the Northern Territory.
Nolans has a JORC resource of 56 million tonnes at an average grade of 2.6% total rare earth oxides (TREO) that extends 215 metres below surface.
The resource has the potential to support mining and processing operations for at least 30 years, at a design capacity of 14,000 tonnes of TREO equivalent a year.
Arafura’s focus during the year has been to validate the performance of its process flowsheet through completing seven consecutive pilot operations.
The company recently announced that the phase 6 pilot plant had produced NdPr enriched rare earth chloride using material from Nolans.
Phase 6 of the pilot program – rare earth dissolution and evaporation – targeted removal of low-value, high-volume cerium from rare earth hydroxide to produce rare earth chloride.
This process reduces the volume of material that feeds into rare earth separation resulting in a smaller and more efficient separation plant that will focus on production of high-value rare earth products such as NdPr oxide.
The rare earth processing pilot plant at ALS Metallurgical Services in Perth ran continuously for seven days, processing rare earth hydroxide precipitate.
The phase 6 pilot plant operations at ALS Metallurgical Services in Perth.
More than 99.5% of cerium rejected
Arafura has confirmed that more than 99.5% of the cerium was rejected from the rare earth chloride during steady state operation of the pilot.
The cerium rejection process represents valuable intellectual property and a significant downstream operational advantage over traditional separation circuits run by other rare earth companies.
Arafura’s flowsheet for rare earth processing at Nolans, which incorporates cerium rejection, is the subject of a patent application.