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Lynas wins $120m HRE contract in the US

Image shows Lynas CEO Amanda Lacaze

Lynas CEO Amanda Lacaze

14th June 2022

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Rare earths miner Lynas has been awarded a $140-million contract with the US Department of Defense (DoD) to establish a first-of-its-kind commercial heavy rare earths (HREs) separation facility in the US.

“The development of a US HRE separation facility is an important part of our accelerated growth plan and we look forward to not only meeting the rare earth needs of the US government but also reinvigorating the local rare earths market. This includes working to develop the rare earths supply chain and value added activities,” said Lynas MD and CEO Amanda Lacaze.

The contract allows Lynas to establish an operating footprint in the US, including the production of separated HRE products to complement its light rare earth product suite. As a result, US industry will secure access to domestically produced HREs which cannot be sourced today and which are essential to the development of a robust supply chain for future-facing industries including electric vehicles, wind turbines and electronics.

Lynas worked closely with the DoD on the Phase 1 contract for a US-based HRE separation facility, and construction costs for the HRE capability as submitted in 2021 are fully covered by this DoD contract, which is sponsored and funded by the US DoD Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) programme.

“The US government’s selection of Lynas for this strategic contract reflects our proven track record in rare earths production,” said Lacaze.

“The DoD’s decision to fully fund the construction of the HRE facility demonstrates the priority that the US government is placing on ensuring that supply chains for these critical materials are resilient and environmentally responsible, and as importantly, their confidence in Lynas’ ability to execute, including access to quality feedstock and processing expertise.”

“This contract is an excellent example of Indo-Pacific cooperation to meet supply chain challenges and Lynas looks forward to collaborating with the DoD, the state of Texas and US manufacturers as we progress our plans for the facility,” said Lacaze.

Lynas plans to co-locate the HRE separation facility with the proposed light rare earth separation facility, which is sponsored and half funded by the US DoD Title III, Defense Production Act office.

Following a detailed site selection process, the facility is expected to be located within an existing industrial area on the Gulf Coast of the state of Texas and targeted to be operational in financial year 2025.

Feedstock for the facility will be a mixed rare earths carbonate produced from material sourced at the Lynas mine in Mt Weld, in Western Australia. Lynas will also work with potential third-party providers to source other suitable feedstocks as they become available.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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