• Digging deep

    Digging deep

    Tanzania’s Ngualla project has the potential to become one of the world’s highest-quality rare earth ventures – and one of the most cost-effective too, according to a recent feasibility study conducted by Peak Resources.

    The project’s annual output target includes 2 420 tons of neodymium and praseodymium oxide (which are expected to generate 90% of Ngualla’s revenue), 530 tons of mixed samarium, europium and gadolinium carbonate, more than 3 000 tons of cerium carbonate and 6 940 tons of lanthanum carbonate.

    As reported by Mining Review Africa, ‘delivery of the project is well timed to benefit from the expected strong uplift in the demand for permanent magnet motors required by the rapidly expanding electric vehicle market, which has been the main catalyst for significant increases in the price of lithium and cobalt since late 2015’.

    Taking into account weathered bastnaesite zone mineralisation, the study estimates a mine lifespan of 30 years.

    According to Peak Resources MD Darren Townsend, the study also forecasts a US$14 million annual reduction in operating costs.

    25 April 2017
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images