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Lynas secures US contract for rare earths facility

Lynas Kalgoorlie

Lynas Rare Earths subsidiary Lynas USA LLC has signed a follow-on contract for about US$120 million with the US Department of Defense (DoD) to establish a first-of-its-kind commercial Heavy Rare Earths (HRE) separation facility in the USA.

The mutually beneficial contract enables Lynas to establish an operating footprint in the USA, including the production of separated HRE products to complement its Light Rare Earth (LRE) product suite.

As a result, US industry will secure access to domestically-produced HREs which cannot be sourced today and which are essential to the development of a robust supply chain for future facing industries including electric vehicles, wind turbines and electronics.

Lynas worked closely with the DoD on the Phase 1 contract for a US- based HRE separation facility in 2020, and the company is delighted to have reached agreement for a full-scale commercial HRE facility.

Lynas plans to co-locate the HRE separation facility with the proposed LRE separation facility (announced on 22 January 2021) which is sponsored and half-funded by the DoD. Following a detailed site selection process, the facility is expected to be located within an existing industrial area on the Gulf Coast of Texas and targeted to be operational in financial year 2025.

Feedstock for the facility will be a mixed rare earths carbonate produced from material sourced at the Lynas mine in Mt Weld, Western Australia. Lynas will also work with a potential 34 party providers to source other suitable feedstocks as they become available.

Lynas Rare Earths managing director Amanda Lacaze said the facility would be an important part of the company’s accelerated growth plan.

“We look forward to not only meeting the rare earth needs of the US Government but also reinvigorating the local rare earths market. This includes working to develop the rare earths supply chain and value added activities,” she said.

“The US Government’s selection of Lynas for this strategic contract reflects our proven track record in rare earths production. The DoD’s decision to fully fund the construction of the HRE facility demonstrates the priority that the Government is placing on ensuring that supply chains for these critical materials are resilient and environmentally responsible, and as importantly, their confidence in Lynas’ ability to execute, including access to quality feedstock and processing expertise.

“This contract is an excellent example of Indo-Pacific cooperation to meet supply chain challenges and Lynas looks forward to collaborating with the DoD, the State of Texas and US manufacturers as we progress our plans for the facility.”

Editor of industrial titles and mastheads with Prime Creative Media. Publications include Rail Express and Australian Mining (web content).
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