Lynas to plan and design rare earths facility for DoD
Australian/Malaysian company Lynas has officially received a contract from the DoD to prepare a heavy rare earth separation facility in the US.
The facility will process heavy rare earths material from the Lynas-owned Mount Weld mine in Western Australia.
Lynas had stated on 22 April that it was set to receive the contract, following a tender submission in December 2019.
Lynas and Texas-based partner Blue Line will complete a market and strategy study, including detailed planning and design for the construction of the separation facility.
Rare earths are used in permanent magnets, catalytic converters, batteries and electronics. According to Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds, every F-35 Lightning II fighter includes 417kg of rare earths.
Work will be completed by June 2021.
The US and its allies regard it as strategically vital to secure supplies of rare earth metals, especially as China is a major source. The US Senate is considering a bill (the Onshoring Rare Earths Act) that would set up a domestic supply chain and require the DoD to source these minerals domestically.
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