Lynas accelerates 2025 projects amid operations slowdown

Lynas’ existing rare earths cracking and leaching plant in Malaysia.

Lynas Corporation has felt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as it delivered a lower rare earths production of 2579 tonnes during the June quarter.

This represents a drop from 4465 tonnes produced during the prior period.

The company shut down its Mt Weld rare earth operations in Western Australia from April 9 to June 16 as the company deemed it had sufficient concentrate reserve stocks to ride out this pandemic period.

Operations were also suspended in Malaysia for 44 days from March 22 in accordance with the Malaysian Government’s movement control order to contain the virus’ spread.

Lynas used the time to make solid progress on its key Lynas 2025 projects, including the Kalgoorlie rare earths project in Western Australia.

Work at Kalgoorlie commenced on July 15, when Lynas awarded Metso Outec with the supply contract for a large rotary kiln, which will be the longest lead time item for the project.

Lynas is also working with stakeholders with regard to the phase one contract for a United States-based heavy rare earth separation facility, which has been placed on hold.

“While there has been recent media speculation as to the status of the matter, Lynas is continuing to work with all relevant stakeholders to address outstanding issues,” Lynas stated in an ASX announcement.

“The process was placed on hold due to outstanding issues which we understand are being addressed.

“In addition, Lynas is well progressed with the detailed design and engineering for our heavy rare earths plant and we remain committed to developing a heavy rare earths separation facility.”

The company was able to recommence operations in Malaysia in May, running at around 70 per cent of its production rates, which Lynas deemed sufficient to refill its supply chains and restock depleted inventories of rare earths.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.