Rinehart bids for more rare earths via Arafura

Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting makes most of its money from iron ore, but appears to be diversifying, according to reports.

After Arafura Rare Earth last week called for $121 million for its Nolans project in the Northern Territory, Hancock is understood to have committed to investing $60 million.

The bid caused brokers Bell Potter and Canaccord Genuity to shut the books early last Friday.

The Nolans project marks a major boost for the NT, helping to secure it as one of the world’s only sources of important critical minerals. The minerals mined from the Nolans project can be used to make technological devices like mobile phones, televisions and computer monitors.

The project includes a mine, process plant (comprising beneficiation, extraction and separation plants) and related infrastructure located 135km north of Alice Springs.

In another indicator of hits desire to get its hands on more rare earths resources, it is understood Hancock is also trying to secure a toehold stake in VHM Ltd Groschen project in Victoria.

VHM is seeking to raise $30 million for its initial public offering and has been telling potential investors Groschen was a “globally significant Tier 1” rare earth deposit with an accompanying mineral sands resource.

Arafura’s Nolans project is the first of its kind to be built anywhere in Australia, according to Arafura managing director Gavin Lockyer.

“It will be constructed to deliver a product that is absolutely critical in the race to tackle climate change across the world,” he said.

“Because Nolans has very strong ESG (environmental, social and governance) credentials, it will set a benchmark for new Australian resource projects and as a result is attracting a great deal of interest from international investment groups.”

Having a heavyweight like Hancock with a toehold position would potentially see the project reach new heights.

While both Hancock and Arafura declined to comment, only time will tell if the mining giant continues to invest in diversifying listings, and what this will mean for the projects.

This feature first appeared here.

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