Grant pays for Lynas to build rare earths plant in Texas

WA rare earths producer Lynas Rare Earth’ US subsidiary has signed a follow-on contract for approximately US$120 million with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to establish a first of its kind commercial Heavy Rare Earths (HRE) separation facility in the United States.

Lynas USA LLC plans to construct a facility to separate Heavy Rare Earth products to complement the company’s Light Rare Earth product suite, facilitating access by US industry to Heavy Rare Earths which are essential to industries including electric vehicles, wind turbines and electronics.

Lynas worked closely with the DoD ona Phase 1 contract and is delighted to have reached agreement for a full-scale commercial HRE facility.

However the news continues a trend for Australian rare earths producers to site value-adding metal production offshore, close to customers.

Lynas operates a metals plant in Malaysia, while Australian Strategic Materials recently opened its metals production plant in South Korea.

“Construction costs for the HRE capability as submitted in June 2021 are fully covered by this DoD contract, which is sponsored and funded by the U.S. DoD Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) program.

Lynas plans to co-locate the Heavy Rare Earths separation facility with the proposed Light Rare Earth separation facility (announced on 22 January 2021) which is sponsored and half funded by the U.S. DoD Title III, Defense Production Act office.

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, Western Australia, as well as other suitable feedstocks as they become available.

Lynas Rare Earths CEO Amanda Lacaze said: “The development of a U.S. Heavy Rare Earths 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.”

The DoD’s decision to fully fund the construction of the facility demonstrates the priority that governments are giving to diversifying supply away from China, the dominant global producer.

Picture: Lynas Rare Earths

Subscribe to our free @AuManufacturing newsletter here.

Share this Story

Stay Informed

Go to Top