Arafura Resources Limited is pleased to provide an update on recent progress on flowsheet piloting for its 100 per cent-owned Nolans Neodymium-Praseodymium (NdPr) project in the Northern Territory.
The Nolans pilot plant program is being completed in seven phases, with each phase typically run over several days on a continuous basis. Metallurgical recovery, process control, equipment performance, materials handling and other data acquired during the conduct of individual pilot plants are being used by Arafura for full-scale plant design and in the project’s definitive feasibility study (DFS). Independent expert advice and oversight of all phases conducted to date has been provided by organisations such as SNC-Lavalin, Prayon Technologies (Prayon), and ANDRITZ Gouda.
The Company is pleased to report that the first stage of the Phase 4 pilot (Acid Bake) has been successfully concluded. Arafura’s extraction plant flowsheet achieves optimal hydrometallurgical performance using a low temperature bake (<300°C). The tests were undertaken at a small scale to evaluate the applicability of Gouda paddle dryer equipment for Arafura’s acid bake process. This contrasts with kiln-based equipment used by other rare earth projects for their high temperature acid bake processes.
A representative of ANDRITZ Gouda attended the tests and concluded the Gouda paddle dryer would be appropriate to meet Arafura’s piloting objectives.