Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Hastings Rare Metals: A$3.3m banked from first half of placement for HREO project

Hastings Rare Metals (ASX: HAS) is looking to advance the highly prospective Hastings Heavy Rare Earth Project in Western Australia, and has now received the first funds from an equity raising.

Tranche one has been completed and comprised 33.2 million shares at $0.10 to raise $3.32 million, with tranche two 20.6 million shares at the same value which requires shareholder approval at a general meeting to be held in March.

The placement was oversubscribed, with a number of institutional and sophisticated investors taking part. Of the total $5.3 million to be raised, $3 million was received from two cornerstone Asian institutions.

Hastings project ranked highly in global terms

A recent Scoping Study ranks the Hastings project as one of the top heavy rare earth projects in the world, with an extremely high proportion of heavy rare earth oxides at 85% of total rare earth oxide ratio.

Hastings has a JORC Resource of 36.2 million tonnes at 0.21% total rare earth oxides, 0.35% niobium and 0.89% zanthium.

The study indicated that an open cut mine at Hastings could run for 15 years, producing 150 tonnes of dysprosium and 1,000 tonnes of yttrium based on a mining rate of 1 million tonnes.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation have been placed at $150 million per annum, allowing for a short capital payback period of less than 5 years.

Funds from the raising will be put towards the advancement of the Hastings project, including:

- Validation and verification of the previously developed extraction circuit;
- Independent scoping study review;
- Optimisation of the product circuit to reflect the new emphasis on the heavy rare earths, dysprosium and yttrium, with by-product values from zirconium and niobium;
- Pre-feasibility study;
- Design of the revised pilot plant; and
- Working capital.

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