Lynas Corporation Limited (Lynas) has selected Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, as the location for its new cracking and leaching plant – a decision that is set to create new jobs and is the first step in establishing a critical minerals hub in the Goldfields region.
Kalgoorlie was selected from the two shortlisted locations in the Goldfields region following extensive due diligence from Lynas. The company detailed that Kalgoorlie provides close proximity to the Lynas mine at Mt Weld as well as a skilled workforce and rich history in the mining and processing industries.
Lynas has signed an option to sublease an industrial zoned property from the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. The terms of the proposed sublease are now being finalised. The signing of this option follows Lynas’ signing of an memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder in September 2019.
Subject to approval processes, Lynas’ Kalgoorlie cracking and leaching plant will process rare earth materials from the company’s Mt Weld mine (currently exported to a rare earth processing facility in Malaysia).
The Mt Weld Central Lanthanide Deposit is one of the highest grade rare earth deposits in the world. Mt Weld also hosts the undeveloped Duncan (rare earth), Crown (niobium, tantalum, titanium, rare earths, zirconium) and Swan (phosphate) deposits.
The plant is expected to generate approximately 500 construction and 200 ongoing jobs.
Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, said the decision by Lynas Corporation is a “fantastic result for Kalgoorlie, the Goldfields region and Western Australia”.
“This investment in infrastructure, the local workforce and research, is a key example of how the WA Government is working with industry to diversify the economy and deliver jobs of the future.”
Lynas also plans to explore opportunities for the next stage processing (upstream solvent extraction) in Western Australia.
Lynas will also continue to develop its relationship with Curtin University and the WA School of Mines working to create IP in the processing of critical minerals in Australia.