Following on from the losses it incurred on Friday, down -5.72% on the back of souring sentiment towards companies associated with battery technology, news that Lynas Rare Earths (ASX: LYC) has secured another major defence deal is unlikely to stop the rare earths producer opening lower along with the broader market.
The company’s subsidiary Lynas US has been awarded a follow-on US$120m contract with the US Department of Defense to establish a Heavy Rare Earths (HRE) separation facility in the US.
The contract awarded to Lynas builds on from a phase 1 deal for a Heavy Rare Earth separation facility announced in July 2020.
Lynas plans to co-locate the Heavy Rare Earths separation facility with the proposed Light Rare Earth separation facility which is sponsored and half funded by the US Department of Defense's Defense (DOD) Production Act office.
As a result, US industry will gain access to domestically produced Heavy Rare Earths - which cannot be sourced today - essential to the development of a robust supply chain for future facing industries including electric vehicles, wind turbines and electronics.
Following a detailed site selection process, the facility is expected to be located within an existing industrial area on the Gulf Coast of Texas and targeted to be operational in FY25.
Management believes the DoD’s decision to fully fund the construction of the Heavy Rare Earths facility demonstrates the priority that the US Government is placing on ensuring supply chains for these critical materials are resilient and environmentally responsible.
Feedstock for the facility will be a mixed rare earths carbonate produced from material sourced at the Lynas mine in Mt Weld, WA.
Lynas will also work with potential third-party providers to source other suitable feedstocks as they become available.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Lynas Rare Earths CEO Amanda Lacaze believes the development of a US Heavy Rare Earths separation facility is an important part of the company’s accelerated growth plan.
“We look forward to not only meeting the rare earth needs of the US Government but also reinvigorating the local Rare Earths market. This includes working to develop the Rare Earths supply chain and value-added activities,” said Lacaze.
“The U.S. Government’s selection of Lynas for this strategic contract reflects our proven track record in Rare Earths production.”
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