Iluka routinely produces the rare earth baring minerals monazite and xenotime as by-products of mineral sands processing activities. Since the early 1990s the company has stockpiled these minerals at a former mining void at Eneabba, Western Australia. Since 2020 Iluka has taken an incremental phased approach to both developing Eneabba and the company’s rare earth diversification opportunity.
Phase 1 - Screening Plant
Phase 1 of the development commenced operating in 2020 and produces a mixed monazite and mineral sands zircon concentrate.
Phase 2 - Concentrator
Phase 2 was completed in June 2022. Phase 2 separates mineral sands heavy mineral concentrate, which is processed at Iluka’s Narngulu site; and a rare earth heavy mineral product consisting mainly of monazite, which is suitable as a direct feed to a rare earths refinery.
Phase 3 - Eneabba Rare Earths Refinery
A fully integrated rare earth refinery for the production of separated rare earths, received final investment approval from the Iluka Board in April 2022. The decision was made following the completion of the feasibility study for the refinery and agreement of a strategic partnership with the Australian Government, including via a $1.25 billion non-recourse loan under the Critical Minerals Facility administered by Export Finance Australia (EFA). Read the announcement here.
The refinery will be fed initially by Iluka’s Eneabba stockpile. Importantly, it will be capable of processing rare earth feedstocks sourced from both Iluka’s portfolio and from a range of potential third party concentrate suppliers.
In June 2022 Iluka awarded Fluor Australia Pty Ltd (Fluor) the contract to complete the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) and undertake Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) services for the Eneabba Rare Earths Refinery. Read the announcement here.
All primary environmental approvals have been secured and bulk earthworks commenced at site in November 2022. Commissioning is scheduled for 2025.
If you would like more information on opportunities to provide goods or services to the Eneabba Rare Earths Refinery Project, please visit the Fluor Project webpage at Fluor - Eneabba Rare Earths Refinery to complete a company profile and register your interest in the Project.