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Northern Minerals may extend Browns Range mine life, mulls downstream processing

Northern Minerals Ltd. started a program to increase the economic potential of its Browns Range heavy rare earths project in Western Australia and its other projects.

The initiatives include an increase in the exploration budget aimed at increasing the project life to over 20 years, from 11 years currently, studies of downstream processing options, optimization of mining and processing options, and new acquisitions in the rare earth sector.

The initiates will be funded via proceeds from a share purchase plan allowing shareholders to purchase up to A$15,000 worth of shares at an issue price of 7.8 cents apiece.

Northern Minerals also raised about A$9.7 million via equity and debt to develop the pilot plant at the Browns Range project.

The raising includes a share issue of 60,769,231 shares at 7.8 cents per share to raise about A$4.7 million, and a A$5 million drawdown under the previously secured facility from The Lind Partners.