A political debate on the merits of rare-earth supply in the US has put on hold progress on the US Department of Defense (DoD) Phase 1 contract for a heavy rare-earth separation facility.
This is according to Australia's Lynas, which on April 22 had been advised of the DoD's intent to award a Phase 1 contract to the company.
Lynas said on Friday that it had noted media reports in the US of political debate on the merits of supply from the US, supply from US allies and supply from other sources.
The company says it remains one of two companies selected for Phase 1 of the project, but understands that progress on Phase 1 is on hold while political issues are addressed.
“We are committed to developing our heavy rare earth separation facility and work is continuing on the plant design and engineering,” Lynas said.
Congress is pushing to shift supply chains, particularly in industries critical for national defence, away from China and back to the US.
Last week, legislation was introduced to end US reliance on China for rare-earth elements.