Australia’s First Rare Earth Refinery Begins Production

Dec 2023

First raw material from Mount Weld mine processed further.

The Australian mining group Lynas is starting the first steps in production at its domestic rare earth refinery. As the company announced (PDF), raw material from its Mount Weld mine has now been fed into the processing plant in Kalgoorlie in south-western Australia. Parallel to the ramp-up in Kalgoorlie, the mixed rare earth carbonate produced there will be shipped in stages next spring to the Lynas refinery in Malaysia for further processing. As we reported, the Malaysian government only extended the operating license in October. Initially, specific production steps were to be banned due to the slightly radioactive residues produced. According to Lynas, production in Malaysia is still suspended until January, as work is underway to increase capacity.

With the construction of the refinery in Kalgoorlie, Lynas is driving forward a complete value chain for the critical minerals without the involvement of China, where most processing has taken place to date. The Group is already the most important producer of rare earths outside the People’s Republic. Lynas is also building another rare earth separation plant in Texas with the support of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Photo: TRADIUM GmbH

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