SYDNEY, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Australian mining outfit Northern Minerals has launched Browns Range heavy rare earth pilot plant for tech metals in West Australia on Friday.
Used in a range of new and emerging technologies like electric vehicles, wind turbines and industrial robots, the state of Western Australia is home to some of the planet's largest reserves of high-grade dysprosium and terbium.
Expected to process around 180,000 tons of heavy rare earth over the next three years, the company predicts it will generate in excess of 20 million Australian dollars (14.8 million U.S. dollars).
With this cautious start, representing around 15 percent of the plants full capacity, Northern Minerals aims to measure demand around the world before it commences full-scale operations in 2021.
"The Browns Range pilot processing plant is a major milestone for this industry and will be a major job-creator for the Kimberley region and Western Australia," the state's regional development minister Alannah MacTiernan said.