© Reuters. A small toy figure and mineral imitation are seen in front of the Lynas Rare Earths logo in this illustration taken November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
(Reuters) – Australia’s Lynas Rare Earths said on Tuesday it has signed a $120 million follow-on contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to build a commercial heavy rare earths separation facility in Texas.
The contract, which was granted to Lynas’ U.S. subsidiary, builds on from a ‘Phase 1’ funding for a heavy rare earth separation facility announced in July 2020.
The project, for which the Pentagon provided initial funding, is expected to be built within an existing industrial region on the Texas Gulf Coast and be operational in the financial year 2025, the company said.
Lynas, the world’s only processor of rare earths outside China, said it intends to combine the heavy rare rarths separation plant with its proposed light rare earth separation facility, which is half-funded by the Defense Production Act office of the U.S. Department of Defense.
Feedstock would be a mixture of rare earths carbonate obtained from the Lynas mine in Mt Weld, Western Australia and Lynas would collaborate with possible third-party sources as new viable feedstocks become available, the company said.