10 APAC / December 2017 , BFI17001 The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same Arafura Resources is a rare earths development company that is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: ARU). Recently, we sat downManaging Director, Gavin Lockyer who revealed to us more about the successful company. Arafura Resources is a rare earths development company that is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: ARU). The company’s focus is on developing its Nolans Neodymium-Praseodymium (NdPr) rare earths mining and mineral processing project in the Australia’s Northern Territory. Its headquarters is in Perth, Australia, with an operations office in Darwin, Australia. The company directly employs seventeen people, including managerial, technical (geology, metallurgy, engineering), environmental, commercial (finance, marketing, accounting), legal and administrative staff. The company’s clients include its shareholders, potential investors, potential customers, and local community and government stakeholders in the Northern Territory. Arafura’s shareholders are spread across the globe, with sizeable representation from Asia, Europe and Australia. The main ‘service’ offered by Arafura, is the prospect of attractive financial returns from the development of the Nolans NdPr project in the Northern Territory. The company is also exploring the potential to diversify its project into South Korea through a downstream refining plant via a Joint Venture arrangement with Korean chemical manufacturer, OCI Company Ltd. Managing Director, Gavin Lockyer begins the interview by telling us about Arafura’s overall mission and the steps the company is taking to achieve this. “Arafura’s overall mission is to become a key global producer of rare earths – and in particular the rare earths Neodymium (Nd) and Praseodymium (Pr) – and merchant-grade phosphoric acid from our Nolans project. NdPr is the foundation of the fastest growing and most valuable application for rare earths – ultra- strong Neodymium-Iron-Boron (NdFeB) permanent magnets used in the automotive, clean energy, healthcare and consumer electronics sectors, and in many industrial applications including robotics, elevators, refrigeration, and power tools. “Over the past ten years, we have been taking steps to achieve our overall objective. During this time, we have been progressively reducing the technical, environmental, marketing, financial and regulatory risks associated with developing Nolans. The project is now in the final phases of technical and economic feasibility, obtaining the regulatory approvals necessary to construct the project, and negotiating product offtake agreements to underpin project financing.” As for what differentiates the company from competitors, Gavin explains that there are five key attributes that marks the company out as the best possible options for investors interested in the rare earths sector.