Binding offtake agreement concluded with VHM.
According to the latest estimates by the U.S. Geological Surveys, Australia’s rare earth reserves, those deposits that can be mined economically, amount to 5.7 million tons. Given the West’s pronounced dependence on imports of this group of raw materials from China, the country is increasingly becoming an international focus as an alternative and regularly advertises its mineral resources. This has not gone unnoticed in China either, as the People’s Republic continues expanding its rare earth industry and has long been investing in promising projects abroad. This is the case with the Australian mining company VHM, which plans to mine rare earths and zirconium-titanium products in the southeastern state of Victoria. Shenghe Resources has secured 60 percent of the annual production of the Goshen project with a binding offtake agreement (PDF) for a total of three years. Shenghe Resources, based in Singapore, is part of the Chinese industry giant Shenghe Resources Holding, which has thus pulled off another coup.
In December, the company was able to secure the total amount of material already mined from Canada’s only rare earth mine and simultaneously increase its stake in the operator Vital Metals. Shenghe is also invested in other Australian projects and mining groups, such as Peak Rare Earths, which aims to mine rare earths in Tanzania. In addition, there are shares in MP Materials, the operator of the Mountain Pass Mine in California, which plays an important role in the U.S. raw materials strategy and is currently the only rare earth deposit in the country where commercial mining is taking place.
Photo: iStock/Alfio Manciagli