Australia’s next rare earths producer Hastings Technology Metals Limited (ASX: HAS) has executed a binding offtake contract with thyssenkrupp Materials Trading GmbH (TK), for high-grade mixed rare earth carbonate (MREC) from the Company’s Yangibana Rare Earths Project in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.
TK is a well-established and internationally recognised German raw materials trading business with offices in 16 countries and core capabilities in materials trading that embrace complex logistic services for raw and finished materials along with supply chain knowledge and dependability. thyssenkrupp Materials Services, the holding company of TK, is the biggest mill-independent materials distributor and service provider in the western world with operations in more than 480 locations in nearly 40 countries.
The contract with TK requires Hastings is to supply 9,000 tonnes per annum of MREC (equivalent to 60% of Yangibana’s annual production) for the first five years; and for the subsequent five years, 5,000 tonnes per annum of MREC (equivalent to 33% of annual production) from its rare earth mine and processing facilities. Over a 10- year period, total MREC volume committed by TK amounts to 70,000 tonnes. Pricing for the MREC is referenced to Asian Metals average 90-days Ex Works price or at an agreed price between the parties.
Charles Lew, Hastings Executive Chairman, said that in view of TK’s global footprint for raw materials trading, the contract with Hastings grants TK the exclusive rights to market and distribute the Company’s MREC on a worldwide basis under this offtake contract with the exception for certain excluded customers that Hastings has established relationships. In the event that Hastings pursues downstream processing opportunities for its MREC to produce rare earth oxides (REO), the contract provides for the flexibility for TK to accept Hastings’ REO product.
Mr Lew added that the offtake contract with TK is a major milestone for Hastings’ to supply its MREC under long-term offtake arrangements with highly respected customers in Europe and Asia whilst preserving Hastings’ ability to also supply uncommitted volume into the spot market.
This offtake contract with a leading and respected global player like TK is highly significant, demonstrating the commercial and technical strengths of the Yangibana rare earth project, primarily its high NdPr: TREO ratio of up to 52%. It further strengthens the economic viability of Yangibana thereby enabling Hastings to progress on the debt financing workstream with the objective of securing credit approvals in the coming months,” Mr Lew said.
“Hastings is targeting the commencement of early earth works on site in Yangibana in the next few months as our intention is to commence production by late 2023. This timing coincides with the strong increase in demand for magnet rare earths expected over the next five to 10 years driven by the EV revolution.
“The processing plants are designed to produce 15,000 tonnes of MREC per annum (when separated is equivalent to 3,400 tonnes of NdPr oxides), which Hastings is expected to deliver to high-quality partners such as thyssenkrupp under long-term offtake contracts with the balance of Yangibana’s output reserved for other offtake customers or the spot market.
“Our company is entering an advanced stage of its growth cycle when we commence full-scale construction of the
Yangibana rare earth project. We will continue to update shareholders and stakeholders of our progress.”