Shenge, a China-based developer, producer, and supplier of rare earth products, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Australia-based rare-earths miner VHM to purchase 6,400 tpa of rare earth mineral concentrate (REMC) and 100,000 tpa of zircon/titania heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) products for each calendar year of the three-year agreement term, on a take or pay basis.
This represents approximately 60% of nominal production rate based on VHM’s 5M tpa Goschen Project. Goschen is one of the world’s largest rare earth deposits (413,107 tonnes of contained TREO) with an accompanying world-class mineral sands resource (Proved and Probable Ore Reserve of 198Mt within a 629Mt Mineral Resource).
Once in production, Goschen is expected to have well in excess of 20 years life of mine (LOM). 87% of Goschen’s rare earth minerals basket value is expected to be derived from high value dysprosium, neodymium, praseodymium and terbium oxides.
Mining of ore will be undertaken using dry strip mining by conventional truck and shovel bulk earthmoving equipment, with pits maintained above the water table. Process tailings will be returned to the pit with mined overburden and topsoil placed on top as part of rehabilitating the land.
Shenghe earlier in 2022 acquired 19.9% of another Australia-based rare-earth developer, Peak Rare Earths, and signed a non-binding MOU covering concentrate offtake and strategic co-operation in support of the development of the Ngualla Project. The offtake arrangements cover 75-100% of production for an initial period of 7 years.
Shenghe’s operations span mining and beneficiation, refining and separation and alloy and metals production.