Commissioning has been completed and production ramp up is underway at Lynas Rare Earths new Kalgoorlie Rare Earths Processing Facility in Western Australia (pictured).
Staff from the company’s Malaysian value-added metals production facility, which has been closed while capacity is increased to 10,500 tonnes of Neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) per annum, are in Kalgoorlie assisting with the production ramp up.
The closure saw NdPr production of 901 tonnes and total rare earth oxide (REO) production of 1,566 tonnes in the latest quarter – both lower than the previous quarter.
Sales revenue of $112.5 million and sales receipts of $107.1 million reflected the lower production levels of the metals which are critical for high technology products such as electric motors and computer hard drives.
CEO Amanda Lacaze told investors: “Sales revenue…reflected the lower production levels for the quarter, the product sales mix and ongoing low rare earths prices, with the average NdPr market price as US$60/kg (ex-VAT) during the quarter.
“Improvement in the rare earths market price continues to be dependent on China’s economic recovery.”
Mixed rare earth carbonate (MREC) from the Kalgoorlie facility is now expected to be progressively introduced to the Lynas Malaysia plant from the March quarter, 2024. In October Malaysia granted an extension to Lynas’s operating licence until 2026.
The Kalgoorlie plant is also expected to provide MREC to the Lynas Seadrift Facility now under construction in Texas in the United States.
A US government contribution of approximately US$258 million is currently allocated to the Texas project.
With the first feed of material from Lynas’s Mt Weld mine in WA now fed into the Kalgoorlie plant, the company also revealed that a drilling programme had been completed at the mine, delineating large new ore targets below the current open pit.
Picture: Lynas Rare Earths Kalgoorlie processing facility