Arafura Resources Limited and GE Renewable Energy have signed a non-binding
memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly co-operate in the establishment
of a sustainable supply chain for Neodymium and Praseodymium (NdPr) Rare
Earths. The parties will negotiate a long-term sales agreement for GE to
purchase NdPr from Arafura’s Nolans Project in central Australia.
The definitive and binding offtake agreement would be subject to key customary
conditions being satisfied, including:
Arafura securing project funding to develop the Nolans Project; and completion
of construction, development and commissioning of the Nolans Project.
The MoU also outlines a potential strategic equity investment by GE in
Arafura that will be considered and negotiated in due course.
Rare earths are essential materials for NdFeB magnets used in EVs and clean
energy technologies, with magnets an essential component for the offshore
wind industry, consuming over 600kg of NdFeB magnets for every MW of wind
turbine generation capacity. A secured rare earths supply for GE de-risks
the magnet value chain, provides supply security and supports the growth
of the local offshore wind sector.
The MoU recognises the strategic nature of NdPr, a critical mineral required
in the manufacture of high performance NdFeB permanent magnets and charts
a path for GE and Arafura to jointly co-operate in the establishment of
a diversified and sustainable supply chain.
Arafura is focused
on establishing itself as GE’s preferred NdPr partner for renewables in
the EU, US and other key markets. Having GE as another foundational offtake
partner will provide Arafura with product sales diversification both geographically
and into new sectors like the offshore wind turbine market.
Commenting on the MoU, Arafura’s Managing Director and CEO, Gavin
Lockyer, said: “The signing of this MoU to collaborate with a Tier
1 OEM is a terrific outcome. Long-term Nolans NdPr may be used in magnets
critical for power generation from GE’s Haliade-X 12 MW, one of the most
powerful offshore wind turbines on the market. It is very gratifying that
a new supply chain model, along with transparency of the value chain, will
ensure we know exactly where our NdPr will be used, whether it is in a
particular EV model or a series of wind turbine. The contribution of Nolans
NdPr to enable clean energy technologies to decarbonise the world is becoming
more and more apparent.”.
GE Renewable Energy Vice President, Chief Technology Officer Danielle
Merfeld, said, “This MoU is another example of our efforts to develop
strategic collaborations that can help us accelerate the energy transition.
Working with Arafura gives us a new and exciting option to obtain reliable,
sustainable, and competitive sources of key materials going forward that
will help us lower the cost of renewable energy.”