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Mixed quarter for Lynas

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

While market demand remained in line with expectations, Lynas Rare Earths recorded reduced sales revenue of $128.1 million for the September quarter.

Lynas continued process optimisation at its Mt Weld rare earth deposit in WA to ensure sufficient material to feed the Kalgoorlie and Malaysian facilities.

The company will largely shut down its Malaysia plant from mid-November to complete refurbishments. This will enable key cracking and leaching (C&L) personnel to be redeployed to apply the finishing touches on the new Kalgoorlie processing plant.

The kiln heating cycle has commenced at Kalgoorlie, with first production to follow and operations to ramp up over the next few months. Lynas chief executive officer and managing director Amanda Lacaze said this was an “exciting milestone” for the company.

Additional drilling was completed at Mt Weld, with the team now focusing on characterising results to inform understanding of the mineral resource.

Lacaze said the Mt Weld expansion project also remains on track.

“Following the stage two engineering review, the forecast cost at project completion has been updated to approximately $570 million reflecting advancement in design detail as well as up-to-date market pricing and productivity factors,” Lacaze said.

Lacaze also commented on Lynas’ partnership with the US Department of Defence (DoD).

“Lynas has signed a follow-on contract with the United States (DoD) for the construction of the heavy rare earths component of the Lynas US Rare Earths Processing Facility in Seadrift, Texas,” she said.

“A contribution by the US Government of approximately $US258 million is currently allocated to the project.

“Lynas’ existing $US60 million agreement with the DoD for the construction of the light rare earths component of the Lynas US Rare Earths Processing Facility remains on foot.”

Lynas continued work with the Malaysian Government has paid off, with the company announcing it has been issued with a variation to its operating licence which allows the continued importation and processing of lanthanide concentrate from the Mt Weld at the Lynas Malaysia facility.

“As the leading producer of rare earths outside of China, Malaysia plays an important role in the global rare earths supply chain,” Lacaze said.

“This decision provides a strong foundation for further development of the Malaysian rare earths industry.”

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