Lynas leans towards Kalgoorlie for rare earths plant

Lynas' Mt Weld mining pit. Image: Lynas Corporation.

Lynas Corp has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder for potential sites for a cracking and leaching plant.

The agreement includes the review and due diligence of prospective sites and provides a framework for support from the city to ensure the new plant is successful.

This includes the availability of land, water, gas, electricity, access roads and workforce management.

As part of the MoU, the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder will actively assist Lynas in attracting a residential workforce for the plant’s operation and providing assistance for initial staffing.

The announcement follows Lynas being required to relocate its cracking and leaching plant from Malaysia to Western Australia as part of the Lynas 2025 growth plan.

Following preliminary site assessment studies, Kalgoorlie and the Lynas mine site at Mt Weld have been shortlisted as the preferred locations for the facility.

A final decision is yet to be made between the shortlisted locations of Kalgoorlie and Mt Weld, with Lynas saying it would continue to conduct due diligence in both locations.

Lynas chief executive officer Amanda Lacaze said the company was pleased to announce the MoU with the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder given its rich mining history and access to resources.

“Access to infrastructure and a skilled workforce makes it an attractive investment destination and with this MOU we can further assess the suitability of potential sites in Kalgoorlie for our cracking and leaching plant,” she said.

“The local councils in both of our preferred locations have welcomed the opportunity to host our Western Australian cracking and leaching facility and we look forward to updating the market on further developments.”

City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder chief executive officer John Walker said the MoU was a positive step forward in the development of it becoming a down-stream processing hub.

“We are looking forward to working with Lynas Corporation as they develop their interests in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Goldfields region, and obviously there are a number of ways we can assist them moving forward,” Walker said.

“One big opportunity that Kalgoorlie-Boulder has to offer is support through the Goldfields designated area migration agreement (DAMA) in finding a strong, qualified residential workforce, who will be part of our diverse community.”

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