The Australian Government has awarded Lynas major project status to establish its rare earths processing plant in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
The major project status provides a single entry point for commonwealth government approvals along with assistance with state government approvals.
The Lynas Kalgoorlie plant will undertake cracking and leaching of rare earth concentrate from Lynas’ Mt Weld mine in Western Australia’s Goldfields region.
This is set to establish a foundation for the development of infrastructure in Kalgoorlie, including utilities and chemical production beyond the rare earths industry.
It also supports the Australian Government’s critical minerals strategy, according to Lynas.
“This formal support by the Australian Government recognises the importance of our new rare earths processing plant in Kalgoorlie to Australia’s critical mineral aspirations, as well as to jobs and investment in regional Western Australia,” Lynas chief executive Amanda Lacaze said.
“Developing a robust and resilient critical minerals and rare earths industry is a priority for the Australian Government and Lynas is in a unique position to contribute to this as we are the only significant rare earths producer outside China.”
The plant is expected to create up to 500 jobs during peak construction and increase Lynas’ workforce in the Goldfields to over 200 people.
Lynas intends to staff the plant with a local workforce and continue its link with Curtin University and the Western Australian School of Mines in Kalgoorlie.
Lacaze added that Lynas was set to make a “significant investment” in Kalgoorlie, and the government’s assistance with facilitating approvals will be very helpful.
Lynas has also received lead agency status from the Western Australian Government.
“Today marks another step forward and we appreciate the strong support from the Australian Government and the Western Australian Government to grow the critical minerals industry in the Kalgoorlie region,” Lacaze concluded.