Lynas Rare Earths’ new processing facility has begun construction in Kalgoorlie, with Western Australian Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston attending a sod-turning ceremony to mark the occasion.
The rare earths facility was recommended for environmental approval by the Environmental Protection Authority in October 2021, with a formative contract of $12 million awarded the following month.
Johnston said the facility will be of great benefit for the state in the coming years.
“Western Australia is in a prime position to establish our place at the centre of the global critical minerals supply chain for generations to come,” Johnston said.
The facility will process rare earths from Lynas’ Mt Weld mine, which accounted for 10 per cent of global production in 2021.
The Mt Weld mine is also one of the world’s highest-grade rare earths deposits and the largest outside of China.
Another benefit of the new facility is the creation of local jobs for Western Australians.
“This is an exciting moment for Kalgoorlie and the Western Australian economy, as we take an important step in diversifying our economy and creating new jobs,” Johnston said.
Lynas’ rare earths processing facility will create 290 construction jobs and up to 128 operation jobs, with Lynas committing to using local trades and purchasing building materials for nearby suppliers.
The new facility will support the vision of the McGowan Government to grow the state’s battery and critical minerals sector.
“The McGowan Government and Lynas Rare Earths have worked with local contractors and workers to bring this vision to fruition for the benefit of our state and to benefit communities in the Goldfields,” Johnston said.