Rare earths producer Lynas Corporation has signed a ‘phase one’ contract with the US Department of Defence to construct a rare earths processing plant in the United States.
The contract will allow the company and its US partner Blue Line to complete a market and strategy study and planning and design work for the heavy rare earths separation facility.
The studies for the facility, which will process ores from Lynas’ Mt Weld mine in Western Australia, will be completed this financial year.
Lynas’ CER Amanda Lacaze said: “Heavy rare earths are essential for the high performance magnets used in electric motors, and Lynas has the feedstock, intellectual property and track record to deliver a heavy rare earths facility.”
Lynas mines at Mt Weld and processes ores at a controversial plant in Malaysia.
However the company is moving some processing back to Kalgoorlie following concerns over radioactive wastes from the Malaysia plant.
The US plant contract appeared to be under threat earlier this year when some US Senators complained of the risks of a rare earths supply chain that included Malaysia.
This objection appears to have been overcome, however this and other controversies were not mentioned by the company in a statement to investors.
Picture: Lynas Corporation
Subscribe to our free @AuManufacturing newsletter here.