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Hastings Rare Metals Funded To Pre Feasibility Stage At HREO Project After $5.4 Million Raising

Hastings Rare Metals (ASX: HAS) has finalised a $5.4 million capital raising, with funds to progress the company's Hastings Heavy Rare Earth Project to Pre-Feasibility Study stage.

The second tranche of the oversubscribed share placement has been completed following approval at a shareholder meeting held on April 11, 2012.

As a result, the remaining 20.6 million shares issued at $0.10 per share to raise the final $2.06 million.

Hastings has also issued a free attaching option on a one for one basis, exercisable at $0.15 per share and expiring on March 31, 2014.

The first tranche of the placement was completed in February, comprising 33.2 million shares at $0.10 to raise $3.32 million.

Of the total amount raised, $3 million was received from two cornerstone Asian institutions.

Funds from the raising will be put towards the advancement of the Hastings project to Pre-Feasibility stage, including:

- Validation and verification of the previously developed extraction circuit;
- Independent scoping study review;
- Optimisation of the product circuit to reflect the new emphasis on the heavy rare earths, dysprosium and yttrium, with by-product values from zirconium and niobium;
- Pre-feasibility study;
- Design of the revised pilot plant; and
- Working capital.

A portion of the funds will also be utilised to determine the potential of the Yangibana rare earth deposit which is high in critical rare earth Neodymium.

Hastings project progress

Hastings is focused on expanding the resource at the Hastings project, which hosts a JORC Resource of 36.2 million tonnes at 0.21% total rare earth oxides, 0.35% niobium and 0.89% zanthium.

In addition, the company is looking to locate higher grade material and improve the stripping ratio at Hastings.

Hastings technical director Steve Mackowski told Proactive Investors that the company is considering further drilling to expand the Indicated Resources to Measured category as a requirement of a Bankable Feasibility Study.

Hastings project ranked highly in global terms

A recent Scoping Study ranked the Hastings project as one of the top heavy rare earth projects in the world, with an extremely high proportion of heavy rare earth oxides at 85% of total rare earth oxide ratio.

The study indicated that an open cut mine at Hastings could run for 15 years, producing 150 tonnes of dysprosium and 1,000 tonnes of yttrium based on a mining rate of 1 million tonnes.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation have been placed at $150 million per annum, allowing for a short capital payback period of less than 5 years.

Hastings Rare Metals will be presenting at the upcoming One2One Forum in Sydney on 2 May.