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Arafura Rare Earths has locked in a major gas supply agreement with New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZOG).

The deal was struck between Arafura subsidiary Arafura Nolans Project and NZOG, who owns part of the Mereenie oil and gas field in the Northern Territory through a joint venture agreement.

Arafura’s neighbouring Nolans project has been tipped as a globally significant rare earth resource expected to become a major supplier of critical minerals.

The agreement will see NZOG supply up to 4.8 petajoules (PJ) of gas to Nolans over the next five years.

“Ensuring access to local natural gas is a positive step in the development of this major project, which will see critical rare earth minerals from the Northern Territory delivered to customers around the world in support of energy transition initiatives,” Arafura managing director Darryl Cuzzubbo said.

Gas supplied under the agreement will be aggregated with gas from other Mereenie field joint venturers, Central Petroleum, Macquarie Mereenie and Cue Energy Resources, to supply up to 27.4PJ of gas to Arafura.

Central Petroleum will supply 6.85PJ of gas, aggregated with supply of 2.06PJ from Cue Energy and 13.7PJ from Macquarie Mereenie.

The agreement will kick off in 2026 for a three-year term, with a further two-year extension subject to gas reserves being available.

“The Nolans rare earth minerals project will deliver critical minerals vital for the permanent magnets in wind turbines and EV motors – the marvellous machines that are the transition,” NZOG chief executive officer Andrew Jefferies said.

“The criticality of these materials is recognised by the Australian Federal and Northern Territory governments, and we are proud to be playing a key role in making it happen with our homegrown Northern Territory energy supply.

“Gas is a three-letter word for transition.”