Lynas Rare Earths Collaborates with US Defense Department for Texas Processing Plant

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Lynas Rare Earths, a leading rare earths producer outside of China, has secured an updated contract with the United States Department of Defense to construct a heavy rare earths processing facility in Texas. 

Rare earth elements are essential for defence technology and industrial magnets, prompting international collaboration to ensure a resilient supply chain for these critical materials. 

The collaboration between Lynas and the US Defense Department aims to establish a strategic supply chain for crucial minerals and materials vital for various industries, including defence and commercial sectors. 

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Halimah Najieb-Locke highlighted the importance of rare earth elements in various industries and emphasised the effort to secure resilient supply chains to reduce foreign dependence.

“This effort is a cornerstone event in securing resilient supply chains by enabling the United States and its allies to gain an organic capability for critical minerals and materials and depart from foreign dependence,” she said.

Lynas CEO Amanda Lacaze underlined the significance of the processing plant as a key pillar in the company’s growth strategy. The facility, set to be the first of its kind outside China, is crucial in developing secure supply chains for rare earths. The plant will contribute to establishing a globally significant and environmentally responsible rare earths supply chain.

Located in the Seadrift industrial zone, the 149-acre greenfield site will accommodate the heavy rare earth separation plant and facilities for light rare earth separation, downstream processing, and recycling. This circular approach creates a comprehensive “mine to magnet” supply chain.

The contract’s value has been updated, with the US government’s contribution increasing from $120 million to $258 million, reflecting the detailed design work and cost adjustments. The Lynas Mt Weld rare earths deposit and the Kalgoorlie Rare Earths Processing Facility in Western Australia will provide the materials for the plant.The processing plant is targeted to be operational by the 2026 financial year and will serve both government and commercial customers. The significant investment by the US Defense Department underscores the strategic importance of rare earths in many industries. It reflects the ongoing effort to secure domestic supply chains for critical materials.

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