Hastings TechnologyMetals Ltd. said April 8 that a pre-feasibility study for the rare earths projectin Western Australia pegged a pretax net present value of A$700 million to A$750million, at an 8% discount rate, and an internal rate of return of 40%.
Total CapEx is seen to range from A$390 million to A$420 million,with payback in 2.5 years.
The study is based on the production of a mixed rare earths doublesulfate on site with overseas treatment to produce separated oxides of the rareearths neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, europium, samarium and gadolinium througha toll treatment deal with a third party. Additional rare earths would be consideredfor processing at a later date to meet future market requirements.
The study sees a 1.0 million-tonne-per-annum operation startingin 2019, extracting approximately 7.0 million tonnes of mill feed from the BaldHill South, Fraser's, Yangibana West and Yangibana North deposits.
Life-of-mine is seven years, extracting only the JORC indicatedresource of 8.1 million tonnes at 1.11% total rare earth oxide.
Rare earth oxide sales are expected to reach A$3.00 billion toA$3.50 billion, while operating expenses are estimated to range from A$1.50 billionto A$1.60 billion.