Lynas Rare Earths Limited has been awarded a $14.8 million grant as part of the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative to commercialise an industry-first rare earth carbonate refining process that has been developed by its in-house R&D team.
Lynas will use the funding to further develop and commecialise its world-first process to refine rare earth ore – essential for permanent magnet and electric vehicle production.
The new refining process reduces the need for hazardous chemicals and delivers a significantly higher-grade product for export. The project will be based near Kalgoorlie-Boulder and will create about 400 direct and indirect job opportunities in the Goldfields region.
Lynas said the new process has been tested at bench scale and has proven effective in producing a higher purity rare earth carbonate that can feed the Lynas Malaysia plant as well as the proposed US rare earth processing facility.
According to the company’s statement, it will be installed during the construction of its rare earth processing facility in Kalgoorlie, with the grant expected to cover about 50% of the implementation cost.
CEO and Managing Director Amanda Lacaze said the new refining process would contribute to reducing chemical consumption and processing costs, in keeping with the company’s commitment to sustainable and responsible Rare Earths production.
“We’re excited to bring this world-first Rare Earth carbonate refining process to Kalgoorlie with the support of the Australian government,” Ms Lacaze said.
“Its commercialisation is the culmination of significant research and development by our in-house team.
“In keeping with our commitment to the efficient use of industry capital, this process has been designed to treat our own Mt Weld concentrate and concentrate from 3rd party feedstock as other projects come on line in the future.”