Lynas may accelerate its growth plans due to growing demand for rare earths

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Lacaze says plans to ramp up projects originally slated for completion in the next 18 months to three years would also depend on cash flow and labor supply. (Photo by Bloomberg)

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SYDNEY (March 8): Lynas Rare Earths Ltd, a key supplier of critical minerals outside of China, could consider accelerating its growth plans if the global raw materials supply crisis worsens further in the months future.

Some planned projects could be developed in “a much shorter timeframe” if there were “further uncertainties or conflicts on the world stage”, Amanda Lacaze, chief executive of the Sydney-listed company, said in an interview. to Bloomberg Television on Tuesday (March 8).

Plans to ramp up projects originally slated for completion over the next 18 months to three years would also depend on cash flow and labor supply, she said.

The demand for rare earths has increased due to their use as magnets in the manufacture of products such as electric vehicles, wind turbines and military equipment. Lynas has financial support from the U.S. government for a planned processing facility the company is planning in Texas, part of the Biden administration’s efforts to reduce its reliance on imports from market-dominating China. .

Lynas is also developing infrastructure in Western Australia to process minerals from its Mt Weld mine. The company’s first-half profit, reported last month, nearly quadrupled and its average selling price more than doubled in the six months to Dec. 31 from the same period a year earlier.

The company is well positioned to supply the defense industry in the event of increased spending due to heightened geopolitical tensions, Lacaze said.

“We are the only rare earth separator outside of China, so we have a unique strategic position in the supply chain for all industries, including defence,” she said. Lynas shares are down around 4% in Sydney so far this year, having more than doubled in value in 2021.


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