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Arafura inks neodymium-praseodymium oxide off-take deal with Chinese firm

Arafura Resources Ltd. signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding to supply neodymium-praseodymium oxide from its Nolans project in Australia's Northern Territory to JingCi Material Science Co. Ltd.

JingCi is a tier 1 Chinese manufacturer of neodymium iron boron permanent magnets, producing around 6,500 tonnes per year and operating under Hitachi Metals' worldwide patents.

The MOU envisages the long-term supply of up to 900 t/y of neodymium-praseodymium oxide, a quarter of Nolans' forecast annual output of 3,600 tonnes, and provides a framework for negotiating a final off-take agreement.

The agreement also contains provisions whereby JingCi may assist Arafura in project financing, potentially through the introduction of original equipment manufacturers to the process.

Arafura noted that it is negotiating off-take MOUs for the remaining neodymium-praseodymium oxide output from Nolans, as well as for other rare earth products and phosphoric acid.