Lynas keeps production apace amid challenges

Lynas Rare Earths has announced a $500 million project to expand capacity at the Mt Weld mine and concentration plant in Western Australia.

Lynas has achieved its output guidance for battery metals and rare earths during the December quarter, despite a constrained production environment and subdued market pricing.

The Malaysian-headquartered company produced 1270 tonnes of neodymium and praseodymium, and 3592 tonnes of rare earths oxide during the period.

This followed the rest of the Malaysian processing limit starting this year, but according to Lynas chief executive Amanda Lacaze, production has ramped up to target rates without significant issues.

Lynas also continued to optimise the circuit changes to deal with the increased carbonate and crandallite in the ore at the Mt Weld operation in Western Australia.

This has improved cracking and leaching performance at Kuantan, Malaysia, where this concentrate was received and processed.

Lynas also produced its 16th product, a high concentration cerium chloride solution to be used for water treatment.

“Progress on our Lynas 2025 growth initiatives continues apace,” Lacaze said.

“In keeping with our commitment to confirm the location for our new Western Australian plant by the end of calendar year 2019, on 9 December 2019 we announced that we have signed an option on a site in Kalgoorlie for the new plant.

“The plant will create new jobs and represents a first step towards establishing a critical minerals hub in the Goldfields region.”

Lacaze added that Lynas also continued to receive active support from the governments of Australia, Western Australia, Japan, the United States and the City of Kalgoorlie Boulder for the diversification of its rare earths processing footprint.

Lynas has submitted a tender to the United States Department of Defence for a heavy rare earths separation plant in the country.

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