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MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia - 28/11/2012

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(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Hastings Rare Metals (ASX: HAS) has increased its exploration footprint surrounding the company's wholly owned Hastings heavy rare earth project following an acquisition.

Hastings has acquired 50 square kilometres of tenements which are contiguous with the heavy rare earths project, which provides rare earths exploration potential and importantly flexibility for infrastructure.

The terms of the acquisition include an up-front payment of 50,000, a minimum expenditure commitment of 150,000 over 5 years on the tenements and a royalty of 1% on any rare earths extracted.

Alastair Metcalf, chief executive officer, said that the acquisition is another step towards the development of the project.

"The resource has been delineated, the metallurgy determined and now we are starting to put in place the components needed to advance the project towards development."

Hastings has the rights to all minerals, other than precious and base metals, that are retained by the vendor. There are gold workings on the tenements dating back to the gold rush in the late 1800's.

Only a limited amount of exploration has been undertaken, apart from historic workings, with the most recent work occurred in the late 1990's and included rock chip and soil sampling.

The work noted higher than average rare earth values, and also returned values for gold, silver, lead and tungsten.

Infrastructure flexibility

The additional tenements are of strategic importance as well, and provide substantial flexibility for locating infrastructure for the project.

Infrastructure required for the Hastings heavy rare earths project will include waste dumps for mine waste, tailings dams, processing plant and associated infrastructure.

While the precise location for each item of infrastructure is yet to be determined, the area covered by the additional tenements has suitable topography and provides considerable flexibility in determining the most beneficial location for infrastructure.

The Hastings rare earth project

Where Hastings differentiates itself to other rare earth project is that the Hastings project is 85% heavy rare earths which involve higher value products.

The project has resources for 25 years at 1mtpa, to produce over 10,000tpa, including heavy rare earths; 140tpa Dysprosium oxide (equating to 10% of world supply), 830tpa Yttrium oxide (equating to 6% of world supply), and 590tpa Mixed rare earth oxide, along with 2,630tpa Niobium oxide and 6,170tpa Zirconium oxide.

Worth noting the project resource has scale to continue growing even further, open at depth along strike to the south.

The acquisition of the additional tenements provide further potential to increase scale with any exploration success.


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