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Mt Weld rare earths mine and concentration plant expansion, Australia – update

AERIAL VIEW OF THE MT WELD RARE EARTHS MINE

Photo by Lynas Rare Earths

26th April 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Mt Weld rare earths mine and concentration plant expansion.

Location
Goldfields region of Western Australia.

Project Owner/s
Lynas Rare Earths.

Project Description
The Mt Weld capacity expansion is a brownfield project that will be undertaken at the existing Mt Weld tenure.

Lynas aims to expand production at the mine from 7 000 t/y to 12 000 t/y of neodymium praseodymium by increasing the throughput capacity from 300 000 t/y to 1.3-million tonnes a year by 2024.

Further capacity expansion in existing upstream and downstream production, together with growth options for 2025 and beyond, are being developed. This includes two additional stages at Mt Weld, with each one offering a pathway to an additional 2 400 t of neodymium praseodymium equivalent a year.

Potential Job Creation
The Mt Weld expansion project is expected to create up to 300 jobs during construction and more than 100 ongoing operational jobs in the Goldfields region.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
Not stated.

Capital Expenditure
About A$500-million.

Planned Start/End Date
The project is expected to enter full operation in 2024.

Latest Developments
Lynas has reported that the project schedule remains on track with construction activities progressing as planned. Structural, mechanical, piping (SMP) and electrical works on Stage 1 (concentrate dewatering) are well advanced.

The energisation and commissioning of the Stage 1 circuit will start over the next few months. The Stage 1 circuit will initially be tied into the existing operation. A staged commissioning approach reduces commissioning risk and enables a step-up in production capacity while the remainder of the plant is built.

Construction of Stage 2 (balance of plant) is ramping up. All long-lead equipment is on site, including grinding mills and flotation cells. Concrete works are advancing and SMP works are expected to start at the end of April.

With the transition to cleaner energy at Mt Weld, the negotiation of the power purchasing agreement for the hybrid gas/renewables power station is near completion. This power station will replace the current diesel power station and will provide a staged hybrid gas/renewables power supply targeting up to 70% renewable-energy penetration with a mix of solar, wind and battery energy storage.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Lynas Rare Earths, tel +61 8 6241 3800.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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