Lynas relocates cracking and leaching plant

The company looks forward to contributing to the Kalgoorlie-Boulder economic development, says CEO


LYNAS Corp Ltd (Lynas) has selected Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, as the location for its new cracking and leaching plant, marking its first step in establishing a critical minerals hub in the Goldfields region.

The cracking and leaching plant will upgrade the Lynas Mt Weld rare earth concentrate which is currently exported to the company’s rare-earth processing facility in Malaysia, marking the company’s step towards delivering on the Australian government’s critical minerals strategy and the objective of the Western Australia government for more downstream processing.

“Lynas has signed an option to sublease an industrial zoned property from the City of KalgoorlieBoulder. The terms of the proposed sublease are now being finalised,” the company said in a statement yesterday.

The sublease signing follows Lynas’ signing of a memorandum of understanding with the city, which was announced on Sept 6.

The Australian rare-earth company’s operation permit in Pahang was renewed for another six months in August 2019, whereby the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) said the company must comply with three conditions imposed on them. First, the company must come up with a plan to build a cracking and leaching facility abroad to transfer and process away waste from its current plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, and then come up with a complete development plan for its permanent disposal facility (PDF), including a payment plan to bear the total cost of the building and PDF operation.

The third condition imposed by the AELB is for Lynas to end all of its research and development activities.

Lynas CEO and MD Amanda Lacaze said the location is ideal for the plant and the company looks forward to contributing to the Kalgoorlie-Boulder economic development.

“Lynas was built from the ground up as an environmentally responsible rare-earths producer and we will take the same approach to our facility in Kalgoorlie.

“We also acknowledge the support from the Western Australian and Australian governments to enhance the critical minerals industry in the Kalgoorlie region,” she said in a statement yesterday.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder city CEO John Walker said the city looks forward to working with Lynas to see the new cracking and leaching facility through to completion and production.

“This is a fantastic step forward in the work we have been doing to diversify our local economy and expand the number of skilled residential jobs available in our city,” he said.