The NSW Nationals in the state government will invest half a million dollars in the development of a heavy rare earth minerals project near Dubbo, as part of its bid to position the state as a major global supplier and processor of critical minerals and high-tech metals.
Nationals Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said Australian Strategic Minerals Ltd had secured $500,000 from the NSW Government’s Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Activation Fund for a study into the development of a Heavy Rare Earth Elements processing flow sheet for the Dubbo Project at Toongi.
“This funding is all about leveraging private investment, and working with the sector to help establish NSW as a powerhouse in supplying the critical minerals and high-tech metals of the future,” Mr Saunders said.
“ASM is an ASX-listed, vertically-integrated producer of critical minerals for new industries, with a concept of going from mine to metals. The Dubbo project has rare earths, zirconium, niobium and hafnium, creating an alternative and secure source of critical metal oxides in Australia.
“With a company co-contribution of $799,155, this investment from the NSW Government will support ASM to finalise the process flow sheet for the Dubbo Project heavy rare earth (HRE) solvent extraction circuit, which includes terbium (Tb) and dysprosium (Dy).”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Resources Paul Toole said 19 organisations will share in more than $8.6 million under Stream 1 of the $130 million Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Activation Fund.
“Critical minerals and high-tech metals are going to be crucial to future technologies like advanced manufacturing, aerospace, ag-tech and renewables, and this fund will progress projects and support feasibility studies right across the State,” Mr Toole said.
“Our $8.6 million investment is being backed in by industry co-contributions and together will drive $30 million of investment into growing the critical minerals sector in NSW.
“We’ve already made it easier for exploration companies to search for critical minerals and produce high-tech metals projects by removing the Mineral Allocation Areas as a key part of the NSW Government’s Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Strategy.
“Our vision is to make NSW the number one investment destination for mining, exploration and advanced manufacturing, and we will continue to drive initiatives to achieve that.”
For further information on the Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Activation Fund, visit regional.nsw.gov.au/activation-fund