August 12, 2019 / 11:08 AM / 5 days ago

Australian rare earths miner Northern Minerals courting Chinese investor

(Reuters) - Australian rare earths miner Northern Minerals Ltd on Monday said it was in negotiations with a Chinese entity for a A$20 million ($13.53 million) investment.

The company said it would make a private placement of shares to the entity at about A$0.062 per share if the transaction was approved by the board.

The miner also said it was in talks with other parties for an investment, although no substantial progress had been made in such talks.

China is the world’s largest rare earth producer and there is increasing concern that the country may limit its exports of the minerals as a negotiating tactic in its trade dispute with the United States.

Rare earth minerals such as neodymium and praseodymium are in high demand due to their use in a wide variety of industrial and electronic applications.

Lynas Corp, the largest rare earths producer outside China, has seen its stock price surge some 82% this year owing to Sino-U.S. trade tensions.

Earlier in the day, Northern Minerals signed a rare earths supply agreement with German industrial producer Thyssenkrupp AG, just a few days after it cancelled a supply deal with China’s Lianyugang Zeyu New Materials Sales Co Ltd.

($1 = 1.4786 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; editing by Christian Schmollinger

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