Alkane Resources has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Siemens Ltd – the Australian arm of the global industrial group Siemens AG – to develop the Dubbo Zirconia Project (DZP).
“The purpose of the MOU is to advance the DZP, in particular to state each party’s intention with respect to the procurement of Siemens equipment and operational solutions, and future off take of products produced by the DZP,” Alkane told the ASX.
The MOU is non-exclusive and non-binding for a period of three years, and details Alkane’s and Siemens’ joint intention to enter into separate agreements for the purpose of progressing and implementing business opportunities identified in connection with the MOU.
Siemens said it intends to explore options to procure on normal commercial off-take rare earths from DZP directly from Alkane, its wholly owned subsidiary Australian Zirconia Limited, or through its distribution channels or partners.
According to Siemens, most of these rare earth elements are related to the production of NdFeB permanent magnets, Praseodymium (Pr); Neodymium (Nd); Dysprosium (Dy); Europium (Eu); Terbium (Tb);Lutetium (Lu) ; Gadolinium (GD);and the rare metals Niobium (Nb); Zirconium (Zr); and Hafnium (Hf) in oxide, alloy or finished product form.
Alkane, on the other hand, intends to procure equipment, systems and services from Siemens for the DZP.
According to the company, these include advanced infrastructure management systems such as building, fire, security and energy management, as well as process automation solutions such as process control systems, instrumentation analysers, and industrial communication.
Alkane also intends to procure power solutions including 132kV protection and automation systems, 132kV EQP transmission lines, 132kV transformers, turbines and power generation.
The company is also looking to acquire mechanical plant and services including motor control centres, switchgear, conveyor drives, VVVF drivers and blowers, as well as product lifecycle management including asset management, service and maintenance of systems supplied.
“This agreement presents another substantial step forward in the development of the world class Dubbo Zirconia Project, which can become a significant non-Chinese supplier of several critical metals,” reads Alkane’s statement.