Business newspaper reports indications of increased cooperation between rare earth specialists.
The most important rare earth miners outside China, MP Materials from the U.S. and the Australian group Lynas could join forces, as the Australian Financial Review (paywall) writes, citing industry circles. However, according to the country’s most important business newspaper, it is unclear what such a deal could look like. The USA and Australia want to expand their cooperation in critical minerals, for which the Climate, Critical Minerals, and Clean Energy Transformation Compact was concluded in May last year.
Lynas’ expertise in processing rare earths is already a building block in the U.S. strategy for greater autonomy in the supply of rare earths. The company is building a refinery for these raw materials in South Texas on behalf of the Department of Defense. According to Lynas, the plant will initially process material that Lynas extracts from the Mount Weld mine in Australia but will also be able to process resources from other suppliers (PDF). Possibly also those from MP Materials’ Mountain Pass mine 2,300 kilometers away in California.
So far, the companies have not commented on the rumors of a potential collaboration. Meanwhile, MP will present its quarterly figures on February 22, and the industry whispers will likely be a topic at the press conference.