Northern Minerals Limited: Browns Range pre-feasibility study commenced with new appointments bolstering the development team
September 27, 2013 (Source: Northern Minerals) — Highlights:
- Significant expansion of Project Development team, including appointment of leading rare earths metallurgist Tony Hadley as Process Manager.
- Work commenced on Browns Range Pre-Feasibility Study, with consultants formally engaged and expected completion in first half of 2014.
- Additional appointments add further depth to team, including Senior Process Engineer, Senior Development Geologist and Project Administrator.
Northern Minerals (ASX: NTU) is pleased to announce it has appointed leading rare earths metallurgist Tony Hadley to the position of Process Manager, heading a list of new appointments which expands its Project Development team as it moves the Browns Range Project toward production.
The Company has also engaged key engineering, design and environmental consultancy firms to commence work on its Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS), which is due for completion in the first half of 2014.
Northern Minerals Managing Director George Bauk said the new appointments positioned the Company for the next phase of developing the Browns Range Project.
“I am very pleased to welcome Tony and the other new members of the team, who will add significant and very specific expertise in the design, development and construction of rare earths projects. The fact that we are able to attract personnel with this level of REE experience is a further boost for the Project and demonstrates the quality of the Browns Range Project in the rare earths space” Mr Bauk said.
“One of the key driver for success is to have the right people, and we have built a first rate team at Northern Minerals. When you combine this with a high quality project, and the fact that we have raised $30m in project funding this year, we have the key elements in place to make Browns Range a success”.
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“We are now at a very exciting and busy stage in our project development as we finalise our Scoping Study and move into a PFS, and these additional appointments will help us deliver the work program required to meet our target of first production by 2016,” Mr Bauk said.
Tony Hadley – Process Manager
Tony is a metallurgist with more than 20 years’ experience in the construction, operation, flowsheet development and management of rare earths, base metals and gold projects in China, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia. His experience includes 10 years with Lynas Corporation, where he was the Operations manager for the Mount Weld Rare Earth mine. During this time Tony successfully designed and commissioned the world’s first rare earth phosphate flotation concentrator.
Enej Catovic – Senior Process Engineer
Enej has more than 13 years’ experience as a process engineer, including specific experience in the development of REE projects, and has been working on development of the Browns Range flowsheet in a consulting capacity for the past 10 months. Prior to this, Enej worked with Lynas Corporation on the metallurgical test work and flowsheet development for the Mount Weld Rare Earth Mine, as well as its Malaysian hydrometallurgical processing facility.
Bill Rayson – Senior Development Geologist
Bill has 15 years’ experience as a geologist within the metalliferous mining industry, with particular expertise in narrow vein resource estimation and modeling. His most recent position was senior resource geologist with Newcrest Mining, where he was involved in resource estimation and technical oversight of resource modeling and grade control systems. At Newcrest, Bill also worked as a Mine Geologist and Geotechnical Engineer, which involved oversight of underground geology, ore zone development and stoping.
The Company has also further expanded its team with the appointment of Saskia Robic as Project Administrator.
Northern Minerals is also pleased to advise it has commenced work on the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) for the Browns Range Project (the Project), following positive results from an internal Scoping Study performed on the Wolverine Deposit. Northern Minerals plans to release an update of this Scoping Study in the final quarter of 2013 which will incorporate the Company’s latest JORC compliant resource estimates due for release in October 2013. The Browns Range Project PFS will fundamentally be based on the Scoping Study flow sheet and will focus on exploring and developing opportunities highlighted through previous work whilst further de-risking the Project.
Northern Minerals has recently completed an extensive tendering process and appointed its key engineering consultants who will complete specific elements of the PFS. The Company is targeting completion of the PFS in the first half of 2014.
Key consultants engaged for the various elements of the PFS include:
DRA Pacific: will complete the PFS for the beneficiation process plant and site services (e.g. power supply, site buildings, workshops, water reticulation).
Hatch: will complete the PFS for the hydrometallurgical process plant. The hydromet PFS will use the current scoping level process flowsheet and consider options for improving the process design, recoveries and product specification.
Golder Associates: will undertake the PFS for the tailings storage facility.
Klohn Crippen Berger: will complete the hydrogeological investigation and PFS for ground water supply.
About Northern Minerals:
Northern Minerals Limited (ASX: NTU) is focused on development of rare earth elements (REE), with a large and prospective landholding in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. The Company’s flagship project is Browns Range, where it has a number of prospects with high value HRE in xenotime mineralisation. In particular, the mineralisation includes high levels of dysprosium and yttrium, which are in short supply globally and expected to be increasingly sought after as world economies stabilise and recent trends in urbanisation and technology diffusion, particularly in Asia, accelerate. Following outstanding results from its drilling and metallurgical programs in 2012, the Company has delivered its maiden JORC resource, advancing Browns Range toward production, using a relatively simple and low cost processing flowsheet to produce a high grade mixed Rare Earth oxide. Northern Minerals also has a HRE exploration program underway at the geologically similar John Galt project.
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