A mining company says it will employ more than 100 people when production of rare earths starts in 2013 at Nolans Bore, north of Alice Springs.
Arafura Resources is accelerating the project to meet the rapidly growing demands of the international market.
The world’s leading producer of rare earths, China, has announced it will cut its 2011 export quotas by 35 per cent, leaving a large gap in the supply of the minerals.
Arafura Resources’ managing director Steve Ward says China’s decision opens the door for the Nolans Bore site, 135 kilometres north of Alice Springs, to take advantage of the shortage.
“China has limited production itself and increasingly that production is being consumed in China so there is less available to be exported to the rest of the world,” he said.
“So the rest of the world is looking for new sources of rare earths which is where we come in and why the Nolans Bore resource and the Nolans Bore project is so important as we move forward as a source of rare earths to users worldwide.”