KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 — Lynas Corporation Ltd said today it will open a new cracking and leaching plant in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia to extract low-level radioactivity from materials to be shipped to Malaysia for final treatment.
The Australia-based rare earth miner said it has signed an option to sublease an industrial-zoned property from the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder with the proposed terms being finalised.
“The signing of this option follows our signing of an MOU with the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, details of which were announced on September 6, 2019,” company secretary Andrew Arnold said in a statement, referring to a memorandum of understanding.
“Lynas’ Kalgoorlie cracking and leaching plant will upgrade the Lynas Mt Weld rare earth concentrate that is currently exported to the Lynas rare earth processing facility in Malaysia.
“It is a further step towards delivering on the Australian Government’s Critical Minerals Strategy and the objective of the Western Australian Government for more downstream processing.
“Lynas will also explore opportunities for the next stage processing (upstream solvent extraction) in Western Australia,” he added.
The new planned cracking and leaching plant in Western Australia will form part of a US$500 million (RM2.08 billion) growth strategy to boost production by 2025, it said.
After lengthy tensions with Putrajaya over environmental concerns about its operations in Malaysia, Lynas was given four years by the country to build a plant to remove low-level radioactivity from material it ships here for processing into elements vital for products ranging from fighter jets to wind farms.
The firm will invest in infrastructure and supply chain capabilities to form the basis of further industry development in the region.