Lynas to build $120 million heavy rare earths facility in US

Australia’s Lynas Rare Earths announced yesterday that its 100%-owned subsidiary has signed a US$120 million follow-on contract with the US Department of Defense (DoD) to establish a commercial Heavy Rare Earths (HRE) separation facility in the US.

The first of its kind facility in the US will pave the way for access to domestically produced heavy rare earths which are essential to the development of a supply chain for future facing industries including electric vehicles, wind turbines and electronics.

Lynas, which is currently processing rare earths at its $800 million Lynas Advance Materials Plant (LAMP) in Malaysia, plans to locate the HRE separation plant within an existing industrial area on the Gulf Coast in Texas and aims for it to be operational in financial year 2025.

The company also plans to co-locate the HRE separation facility with a proposed Light Rare Earth separation facility which is sponsored and half funded by the US DoD Title III, Defense Production Act office.

Feedstock for the facility will be a mixed rare earths carbonate produced from material sourced at the Lynas mine in Mt Weld, Western Australia. Lynas will also work with potential 3rd party providers to source other suitable feedstocks as they become available.

“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,” Lynas CEO Amanda Lacaze said.

“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.”