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Northern Minerals sees opportunity in China dysprosium supply disruption

The company aims to be the first significant producer of dysprosium outside of China
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Northern Minerals is expected to commence production of heavy rare earth in H1 2018

Rare earths project developer, Northern Minerals Ltd (ASX:NTU) is expected to get a boost from the recent increase in the dysprosium oxide price due to supply concerns in China.

The dysprosium oxide (99% min) price has increased from RMB1,250/kg to RMB1,500/kg in the past fortnight - an increase of 20%.

Northern Minerals has commenced development of the Browns Range Heavy Rare Earth Pilot Plant Project in northern Western Australia.

Through the development of its flagship project, the company aims to be the first significant world producer of dysprosium outside of China.

The Browns Range Heavy Rare Earth project contains a number of deposits and prospects containing high value dysprosium and other heavy rare earths, hosted in xenotime mineralisation.

Dysprosium is an essential ingredient in the production of DyNdFeB (dysprosium neodymium iron-boron) magnets used in clean energy and high technology solutions.

Northern Minerals’ three-year R&D pilot plant project is expected to commence first production of heavy rare earth carbonate in H1 2018.

The recent increase in the price of the dysprosium oxide may be attributable to a crackdown by the Chinese government on illegal mining.

The programme of clamping down on illegal mining has been ongoing since 2010, however the recent crackdown is impacting supply.

Importantly, the increasing demand for electric vehicles and renewables uptake coupled with declining supply in China is expected to positively impact Northern Minerals’ prospects.

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