Strategic Materials said on Monday it had secured a A$200 million ($151.68 million) loan to develop its flagship Dubbo rare earths project in New South Wales, as demand for critical and rare earth metals surged worldwide.
The rare earths producer secured the funding from Export Finance Australia (EFA) for the construction of the project which will produce metals such as zirconium and niobium — considered crucial for the economy — and rare earth metals including neodymium and praseodymium.
“The critical metals we will produce from the Dubbo Project are all in high demand for a suite of modern industrial applications, including energy efficient technologies, electric vehicles,” Managing Director David Woodall said in a statement.
The debt funding, conditional on the miner securing supply deals and environmental approvals, comes at a time when battery metals and minerals are in high demand amid rising calls for achieving climate change goals and curbing carbon emissions.
“Our discussions with potential offtake, equity and financing partners in the Dubbo project have been very positive and are continuing,” Woodall added.
Shares of the miner were up 3% as of 0407 GMT, after rising as much as 2.5% earlier in the day.
($1 = 1.3186 Australian dollars)
(By Sameer Manekar; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)