April 26, 2012 (Source: Arafura) — Highlights
Rare Earth Oxide samples produced from Nolans Bore
Customer analysis of samples underway
Major 52% resource upgrade to 46 million tonnes
A$8 million raised in successful Share Purchase Plan
Customer and strategic investors visit Arafura facilities
Board and management restructure
Cost management and project review implemented
Significant progress has been made through the quarter, the highlight being the announcement on 17 January that the Company successfully produced three separated Rare Earth Oxide ("REO")products from the Nolans Bore resource, at mini-pilot scale, in quantities sufficient for customer evaluation.
The three REO products developed at 99% Total Rare Earth Oxide levels are:
A mixed ‘Heavy’ REO product (Tb+Dy+Ho+Er+Tm+Yb+Lu+Y): ‘HRE’ oxide;
A mixed ‘Mids’ REO product (Sm+Eu+Gd): ‘SEG oxide’; and
A ‘Didymium’ REO product (Nd+Pr): ‘Nd/Pr oxide’.
The production of separated REO products from Nolans Bore mineralisation and their provision to customers to be assessed for commercial acceptability represents a landmark achievement for Arafura and the industry outside China. Work continues on the separation of Cerium and Lanthanum and early bench-scale test work shows positive results. The targeted completion date for this work is the end of the second quarter.
On 12 March, Arafura announced another significant event to the market that the Nolans resource had been substantially upgraded by 52% to 46 million tonnes @2.5% REO, 11% P2O5, 0.41 lb/t U3O8. Work streams in support of resource optimisation and mine planning are in progress.