Strategic Partnership Aims to Develop Victoria’s Rare Earth Resources
Astron Corporation has announced a significant collaboration with Energy Fuels, a major player in the rare earths and mineral sands sector, through a non-binding memorandum of understanding. The partnership aims to jointly develop the 2.6 billion-tonne Donald rare earths and mineral sands project located in Victoria.
Investment and Production Prospects
Under the agreement, Energy Fuels is set to invest $180 million to acquire a 49% stake in the joint venture. Additionally, Astron Corporation will receive $US17.5 million in Energy Fuels shares. This collaboration is anticipated to position Donald as a globally significant, long-life supplier of rare earth elements such as neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, and terbium, as well as vital minerals like zirconium and titanium.
Phased Development Plans
The development strategy for the Donald project includes an initial phase of mining 7.5 million tons per year of ore to produce 200,000 to 250,000 tons per year of heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) and around 7,000 to 8,000 tons per year of rare earth element concentrate (REEC). Subsequently, the venture will aim to double ore production to 15 million tons per year, thereby increasing output of HMC and REEC.
Management and Operational Roles
Astron, holding a 51% interest, will serve as the Manager and Operator of the venture, with major decisions requiring the approval of both parties.