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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.”