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Rare earth metals producer Lynas announces $500M expansion at Mt Weld mine

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(Kitco News) - Rare earths producer Lynas (ASX: LYC) today announced an approximately $500M project to expand capacity at the Mt Weld mine and concentration plant to meet accelerating market demand for rare earth materials.

According to the company's statement, the Lynas' 2025 growth plan targeted a 50% increase in NdPr production to 10,500 tonnes per annum by 2025, including significant development of the Mt Weld ore body and beneficiation circuit.

"To meet Lynas' ambition to grow with the market, this previously announced growth plan must be accelerated and increased," the company said.

Lynas noted that the initial expansion to 12,000 tonnes per annum NdPr equivalent has been fully scoped and the approximately $500M investment for this stage of the project is fully funded from cash flow.

Importantly, the company said that procurement of long lead equipment items has commenced, adding that - subject to relevant regulatory and stakeholder approvals - construction activities are expected to commence in early 2023, with full operation planned for 2024.

In its press-release, the company pointed out that global demand for rare earth materials and NdFeB magnets continues to accelerate, with NdFeB magnet demand forecast to grow from 130,000 tonnes of  NdFeB magnets consumed in 2020 to 265,000 tonnes in 2030, driven by growth in electric vehicles and wind energy.

"Lynas has a decade long track record in responsible rare earths production and the $500M Mt Weld expansion project we are announcing today is designed to ensure we continue to grow with the market as a supplier of choice. The Mt Weld capacity expansion project aims to unlock its true value in the most efficient and sustainable way to 2025 and beyond," stated CEO and Managing Director Amanda Lacaze.

Lynas Rare Earths is the world's only significant producer of separated rare earth materials outside of China. The company's Mt Weld mine in Western Australia is acknowledged as one of the world's premier rare earths deposits.

Lynas also operates the world's largest single rare earths processing plant in Malaysia where it produces high-quality separated rare earth materials for export to manufacturing markets in Asia, Europe and the United States.

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