As per the deal, Jacobs will progress the HREO project through to the pre feasibility (PFS) stage.

Jacobs will begin with initial studies to review all previous studies and information and work with the rare earth technology group Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation to verify previous flow sheets and optimise product suite for dysprosium and yttrium focus.

The second stage of the project will involve process development, developing process design criteria, generating a process model to create the mass balance and developing a block flow diagram.

Jacobs will also review and update scoping study on the basis of a mid range capital and operating cost estimate for the preferred process route.

The scoping study will be completed by August 2012 and updated for product optimisation by the end of 2012.