Hastings Technology Metals has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Baotou Sky Rock Rare Earth New Material Co Ltd for future supply of mixed rare earth carbonate (MREC) from Hastings’ Yangibana project in Western Australia.
The parties intend to enter into a binding commercial offtake agreement within 12 months from the date of the MoU. Pricing for the MREC will be based on a formula taking into account prevailing market prices prior to shipment.
The parties have additionally acknowledged that any commercial offtake agreement is contingent on Hastings starting operations and production of MREC from the Yangibana mine, and with any additional conditions usually included in commercial offtake contracts.
Hastings executive chairman Charles Lew said, “This first MoU for an offtake agreement with Sky Rock is a significant milestone for the company. The high neodymium/praseodymium content of our ore body is gaining firm recognition in the rare earth and magnets industry.
“Further offtake agreements are expected to follow, which will reinforce the company’s financing plan to fund the development of the mine and the construction of the processing plant.”
Hastings estimates an annual production quantity of 15,000 tonnes of MREC, which it will sell to offtake partners, with production projected to commence in the second half of 2019.
Hastings has completed both beneficiation and hydrometallurgy pilot plants, in the process producing MREC samples which are high in neodymium and praseodymium content. These are critical materials for the production of permanent magnets and other technology applications.
Sky Rock, based in Baotou, which is the largest industrial city in Inner Mongolia, China, is a company set up in 2006 that is involved in the production of high temperature tolerance NdFeB permanent magnets. Its main products are Sintered Neodymium Magnets and Sintering Samarium Cobalt Magnets.
Its products are sold to computer, mobile phone, motor and generator, automobile (EV/HEV), audio-video system, office automation and many other major international companies worldwide.
The company has strong technical competence and invests substantially in R&D for rare earth usage in magnets and its long-term sustainability of production.