Tag Archives: Nolans

Arafura Rare Earths appoints Worley-owned Chemetics for Nolans sulphuric acid plant

Arafura Rare Earths says it has entered into an agreement for the supply of the sulphuric acid plant for its 100%-owned Nolans neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) project in the Northern Territory of Australia.

The sulphuric acid plant will be supplied by Chemetics® Inc, a global supplier of sulphuric acid and other specialty chemical facilities, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Worley.

The sulphuric acid plant for Nolans will utilise Chemetics proprietary CORE-SO2 process which significantly reduces capital cost, maintenance cost and sulphur dioxide emissions from the plant. The Chemetics plant is also significantly smaller than a traditional sulphur burning acid plant allowing increased use of modularisation reducing the volume of site installation labour. These savings were incorporated into the recent Nolans project update.

The initial work package includes finalisation of specifications and engineering design to allow the plant to be incorporated into the overall project design.

Arafura’s General Manager Projects, Stewart Watkins, said: “Letting the contract for the supply of the acid plant to a global supplier such as Chemetics provides confidence around the outcomes for the project when the team reaches commissioning. Along with that, the progress made on the selection of our key vendors and placement of long lead orders means that we are set to commence early works construction in the coming weeks.”

As well as the sulphuric acid plant, the company has also placed several other the orders during recent weeks which are on the critical path for the project, including:

  • Sulphation bake and cooler paddle dryers with ANDRITZ, primarily to secure detailed design and long lead materials for fabrication;
  • Pipe supply for the first 8 km of HDPE piping for the main water supply pipeline from the borefield to the plant site, which is required for early construction works;
  • Potable and wastewater treatment plants for the construction camp; and
  • Equipment and tankage for temporary construction water supply in advance of the pipeline being installed to site.

Arafura brings KBR into Nolans neodymium-praseodymium project team

Arafura Resources has appointed KBR as the Project Management Consultant to the integrated project management team (IPMT) at its Nolans neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) project in the Northern Territory of Australia.

A definitive feasibility study on Nolans envisaged a combination of phosphate and rare earth extraction processes to produce an average annual production of 4,357 t of NdPr and 135,808 t of merchant-grade phosphoric acid over an initial mine life of 23 years.

KBR is, according to Arafura, a globally recognised Tier One project management consultancy that has a wealth of knowledge and delivery experience across many complex projects in mineral processing, hydrometallurgy, and oil and gas. It recently helped complete the OZ Minerals-owned Carrapateena copper project, in South Australia, performing a similar role in an integrated management team with OZ, the company said.

The scope of work for the IPMT encompasses management of all aspects of the project, according to Arafura, with the KBR team to be integrated with Arafura project personnel to build on the existing project knowledge and supplement it with proven project delivery solutions and systems.

As part of the IPMT, KBR has also partnered with Wave International as a sub-consultant. Wave has minerals processing experience including in rare earths and will provide additional engineering depth to the project as well as undertake the engineering design of selected non-process infrastructure, Arafura said.

Arafura Managing Director, Gavin Lockyer, said: “KBR brings a proven track record, systems and global experience to the project which will enhance our existing capabilities. Through their partnership with Wave, which has assisted the Arafura team with the definitive feasibility study and execution readiness activities to date, there will be a continuity of knowledge and momentum, moving into the project delivery activities.”

Wayne Nolan, KBR’s Vice President of Infrastructure Services Australia, said: “KBR is excited for the opportunity to be involved in the Nolans project and looks forward to bringing the project successfully through construction and production. We will bring together our local expertise in the resources sector, and best practice experience from similar programs of works elsewhere in the world to deliver these services.”