Lynas Corporation will spend $500 million on growing its production to 2025, including the creation of an upstream processing plant in Western Australia.
The proposed expansion was intended to enlarge Lynas’ geographical coverage and ability to supply multiple downstream processing sites close to the resources.
Lynas has proposed two possible sites for the construction of the plant, which could be built near Lynas’ existing Mount Weld rare earth deposit south of Laverton, or alternatively, near Kalgoorlie.
The rare earths-focused company revealed during an investor day presentation in Sydney that its growth plans were announced in response to the recent events and media coverage.
The $500 million funding was expected to help shift the media focus on Lynas to the company’s growth and success by 2025.
Lynas managing director Amanda Lacaze stated in her opening address to investors that in 2025 Lynas would be a “truly global” business and a “true leader, recognised for our leadership in processing, technology and applications development”.
The Malaysian-headquartered company has been dogged by controversy related to its Lynas Advanced Material Plant (LAMP) rare earth elements (REE) processing plant near Kuantan, Malaysia due to the buildup of toxic and radioactive waste at a landfill near the site.
Lynas is navigating options with the Malaysian Government for a licence to resume operations at the plant in September this year. The Malaysian Government has ordered Lynas to clean up 450,000 tonnes of the waste by September 2 as a condition of the renewal.
Lacaze said she had a “great deal of confidence” that the Malaysian Government would allow Lynas to continue to operate.
Wesfarmers (Australia’s largest company by revenue) made an offer to purchase Lynas for $1.5 billion earlier this year, which it unceremoniously rejected as “opportunistic”.
Lynas also announced this week that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with United States company Blue Line Corporation to develop REE processing capacity in Texas.