Lynas extends loan with Japanese partner, to revamp Malaysia operations

A worker walks inside the Lynas factory compound in Gebeng, April 19, 2012. — Reuters pic
A worker walks inside the Lynas factory compound in Gebeng, April 19, 2012. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — Lynas Corporation said the 10-year extension to its loan agreement with long-term partner Japan Australia Rare Earths BV (JARE) will secure changes to its operations in Malaysia.

In a statement today, Lynas Malaysia managing director and vice-president Datuk Mashal Ahmad said the agreement would let Lynas fund new investments in its downstream here and relocate its first stage processing — cracking and leaching — from the country to Western Australia over the next five years.

“Japan recognises the importance of rare earths for its advanced manufacturing industry. Through this agreement, we will continue to work together to develop strong supply chains to meet growing demand.

“Since 2011, we have developed strong relationships with Japanese customers and the products we make here in Malaysia have supported the development of Japan’s rare earths processing industry,” he said in the statement.

Mashal said these were essential to Malaysia’s growing electronics industry in Penang as well as the national automotive industry.

He said as the world’s second largest producer of rare earths products, Lynas could help in attracting further investment in the downstream supply chain in Malaysia.

He added this would then position Malaysia as the manufacturing hub of products made from rare earths.

JARE is a special purpose company established by the Japanese government’s Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and Sojitz Corporation, a leading Japanese trading firm and Lynas’ exclusive distribution partner in Japan.

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