- Significant milestone achieved with NTA on entire tenement portfolio covering 650 sq km
- NTA a pre-requisite for formal mining permits to be issued by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
- Milestone payments up to maximum of $300,000 and royalty on gross sales value at less than 1%
- Hastings to provide education, training and employment opportunities.
In October 2016, the TMWTJ People registered a claim with the National Native Title Tribunal in the Federal Court of Australia over the Company's entire tenement area measuring approximately 650 sq km. This claim was lodged notwithstanding that the Company had been granted Mining Leases on mineralised ground covering approximately 50 sq km, free of a native title claim, in March 2016.
In view of the registered claim, the Company proceeded to negotiate a native title settlement agreement with the TMWTJ People.
The NTA contains a range of commercial and non-commercial terms, including future milestone payments to the TMWTJ People (equal to a maximum aggregate of $300,000 (adjusted for CPI)) in compensation for operations at different stages of the project and a royalty payment of less than 1% of the gross sales value of the Company's mixed rare earths carbonate produced from the project. In addition, the Company will provide education, training and employment opportunities for the TMTWJ People including assisting in the establishment of complementary sustainable local businesses.
The management of Hastings expresses its appreciation to the representatives and elders of the TMWTJ People for their professionalism and collaborative spirit during the period of negotiations and look forward to working with the TMWTJ People as the Company moves towards development of the mine following completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) which is anticipated in late November.
Under the terms of the NTA, the Company is able to undertake operations directed towards the exploration for, identification, development and production of mixed rare earths carbonates from within the entire 650 sq km project area.
A key feature of the NTA is also the establishment of a TMWTJ Community Development Trust Fund which will be administered by the TMWTJ People for the benefit of the community.
The NTA is a pre-requisite for formal mining permits to be issued by Western Australia's Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) for the Yangibana Rare Earths project.
Charles Lew, Chairman commented "this is a major milestone for Hastings which allows us to move forward with confidence to the next development and financing stage of the project following completion of the DFS. We have built a solid and mutually respectful relationship with the TMWTJ People in the last 12 months of negotiations and we look forward to working with the elders to achieve the aspirations of Hastings and the TMWTJ People."
About Hastings Technology Metals Ltd
Hastings Technology Metals Ltd (ASX:HAS) is currently developing a rare earths mine and processing plant at Yangibana in the Gascoyne Region of Western Australia. The processing plant is anticipated to commence production of MREC in 1Qtr 2020. Hastings has completed both beneficiation and hydrometallurgy pilot plants, in the process producing MREC samples which are high in neodymium and praseodymium content. These are critical materials for the production of permanent magnets and other technology applications. The MREC will be capable of being further separated and refined to produce a number of individual rare earth oxides outside of Australia. Hastings estimates an annual production quantity of 15,000 tonnes of MREC which it will sell to offtake partners globally.
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