Sydney Australia, 27 June 2023 - Northern Minerals Limited (ASX: NTU) ("Northern Minerals" or the "Company"), a leading heavy rare earths (HRE) developer, is pleased to announce its progress in securing debt finance for the Browns Range HRE Project (the "Project"). The Company has initiated engagement with commercial and Commonwealth Government financiers to identify the optimal financing structure to support the Project.
The Commonwealth Government's Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has successfully completed a Strategic Assessment of the Browns Range HRE Project, marking an important milestone in the NAIF assessment process. The Project will now move forward to the detailed due diligence phase. Northern Minerals will continue to collaborate closely with NAIF during this phase to develop an Investment Proposal for the NAIF Board's consideration, which is necessary for the potential offer of any loan or financial assistance. It is important to note that no final decision or commitment has been made by NAIF at this stage.
Furthermore, Northern Minerals is actively engaged in discussions with Export Finance Australia (EFA) regarding the provision of debt funding for the Project's development. These ongoing dialogues demonstrate the Company's commitment to exploring various financing options to ensure the successful advancement of the Browns Range HRE Project.
As Northern Minerals progresses towards the completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS), it will simultaneously work towards formulating an optimal financing structure for the Project. The Company aims to secure credit approvals for a preferred debt financing option, supporting the consideration of a final investment decision in Q1 2024.
Mr. Nicholas Curtis, Executive Chairman of Northern Minerals, commented on the progress: "We consider the preliminary support of NAIF as a significant first milestone in our financing journey for our Browns Range Project. We believe this highlights the strong progress we have made across the key elements necessary for a bankable Project, being our HRE resources, our proven processing ability, and our long-term offtake arrangements, which we aim to demonstrate with the completion of our updated DFS. NAIF is an important supporter for the Project with their proven ability to support critical minerals projects outside the mainstream commodities."
NAIF, created by the Commonwealth Government, serves as a development financier focused on supporting development across Northern Australia. Since its inception, NAIF has approved financing commitments totaling $4 billion for infrastructure projects ranging from critical minerals and energy developments to social infrastructure, universities, airport upgrades, agriculture, and aquaculture. As part of the Australian Government's Critical Minerals Strategy, NAIF has allocated $500 million to fund critical minerals projects.
Export Finance Australia (EFA) is Australia's export credit agency, facilitating commercial finance for exporting businesses and Indo-Pacific infrastructure development. EFA administers the Australian Government's National Interest Account, which includes the Critical Minerals Facility, the Defence Export Facility, and lending for the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific.
Northern Minerals remains committed to delivering the Browns Range HRE Project and will continue to pursue various financing avenues to ensure its success. The Company is optimistic about the future of the Project and will provide updates as significant developments occur.
ABOUT NORTHERN MINERALS
Northern Minerals Limited (ASX: NTU) (Northern Minerals, or the Company) owns 100% of the Browns Range HRE Project (Project) in northern Western Australia, tenements uniquely rich in the heavy rare earth elements dysprosium (Dy) and terbium (Tb).
Dysprosium and terbium are critical in the production of dysprosium neodymium iron-boron (DyNdFeB) magnets used in clean energy, military, and high technology solutions. Dysprosium and terbium are prized because their unique properties improve the durability of magnets by increasing their resistance to demagnetisation.
The Project's flagship deposit is Wolverine, which is thought to be the highest-grade dysprosium and terbium orebody in Australia. The Company is preparing to bring Wolverine into production with the objective of providing a reliable alternative source of dysprosium and terbium to production sourced from China. Northern Minerals is one of only a few companies outside of China to have produced these heavy rare earth elements.
To further its strategic objective, Northern Minerals is undertaking a Definitive Feasibility Study for a commercial scale beneficiation plant to process Wolverine ore.
Apart from Wolverine, Northern Minerals and has several other deposits and prospects within the Browns Range Project that contain dysprosium and other heavy rare earth elements, hosted in xenotime mineralisation.
For more information: www.northernminerals.com.au
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