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Down Under Down Under: A Visit to Arafura Resources Nolan's Bore Rare Earth's Project in Australia's Northern Territories

|Includes:Arafura Resources NL (ARAFF), MTCEF

Sydney, Australia, June 25, 2011: My business partner, Dr. Gareth Hatch and I are in Sydney where we have just wrapped up a busy week.

We were first both invited speakers at a Rare Earth & Strategic Metals Conference here, and then we both conducted a well-attended workshop on understanding and participating in the rare earth supply chain for junior miners, refiners, and end-users. The workshop attendees/participants included public companies such as Matamec(TSX Venture: MAT) as well as closely held ventures from Russia and Europe. The Australian government was represented as were Australian universities and a well regarded`Australian national laboratory that studies, develops, and validates metallurgies for miners and prospective miners.

On Thursday we flew to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, and then drove for an hour and a half to the Aileron Roadhouse, which is just a few KM from Nolan's Bore, a water well originally dug to provide water for cattle grazing and now the center of the rare earth ore bodies being brought into production by Arafura Resources (ASX: ARU). In fact the company's mining will begin literally at Nolan's Bore, which Mr Nolan seems to have drilled many decades ago right through the center of a rich mineralization of rare earths.

Gareth and I visited`the drilling camp on the mining site where Arafura has already begun an impressive program to verify the extent of its deposits. 

Gareth will provide the technical details of what we observed and learned when he reports on the Arafura visit on TMR, techmetalsresearch.com, our web site.

Just for now I want to tell you the initial results of my observations of the operations and the managers and workers of Arafura Resources:

Arafura Resources has a first class operational management (I have never yet met its administrative managers), a skilled and dedicated workforce, and a first class operation. Arafura's business model is excellent. It's exactly what it should be and it is running smoothly.

I decided to draft this note this evening while I am still in Australia, because earlier this week before I ever met any of Arafura's staff I saw a story that Arafura had decided to postpone the completion of its bankability/feasibility study by 6 months to a year in order to assure that it wasn't prematurely rushed into operation.

This "slow down" is a very good idea. It seems to me that to closely study a complex undertaking, before committing to specific expensive undertakings, that are difficult once underway to modify is the soul of professional and well thought out business models and an indicia of good management.

Siting an extraction and S/X plant capable of producing 10-20 KT/year of separated rare earth oxides is not to be rushed or done except after studying the needs of such a facility thoroughly, with care for details, and the best possible estimate of the future of variable costs. 

Yet I see stories that "something is wrong" or that "there`are problems with the company" and other such punditry based on the fact that the pundits involved do not know how a good business should be run and have not looked at the hard data and plans of the company.

The rare earths' sector is rapidly separating itself into wannabes (want to be in operation) and gonnabes (going to be in operation).

The gonnabes are going to be because they have a good deposit, a metallurgy that works, a marketing plan, and management that efficiently manage both the mining and the financing operations.

The cold cruel world of capitalism also requires that the gonnabes are among the first to produce and, at the same time, can sell profitably at the lowest price and highest quality among their competitors.

I'm placing Arafura Resources in my list of the top 10 global rare earth projects I have seen.

My list will appear next month, July, on TMR's web site along with the overall reasons that I have decided to create it, and the reasons for my choices.

Be aware all ye pundits that I consider this week's announcement by Arafura Resources to be very positive, and that I am curious why anyone would come to any other conclusion.

I'm going from here to Singapore for further work on the rare earth's sector, and I'll be home on July 3. 

Please make wise choices in your investments and don't make investment decisions based on the analyses by those who don't understand how a profitable business must be built and operated.






 

Stocks: ARAFF, MTCEF