Lynas Corp. has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia, for the review and due diligence of potential sites for its new rare earths cracking and leaching plant. The MoU provides a framework for support from the city in key areas relevant to ensuring the new plant is successful, including land availability, water, gas, electricity, access roads, other infrastructure and workforce management.

Lynas produces rare earths concentrates at its Mount Weld mine and flotation concentrator 30 kilometers (km) south of Laverton, Western Australia. The plant is designed to process 240,000 metric tons per year (mt/y) of ore and produce up to 66,000 mt/y of concentrate containing 26,500 mt/y of rare earths oxides. The concentrator was commissioned in May 2011 and has been exporting concentrate to Lynas’ processing operations in Malaysia since late 2012.

Following preliminary site assessment studies, Lynas has shortlisted Kalgoorlie and the Mount Weld mine site as the preferred locations for the new cracking and leaching plant. A final decision is yet to be made between the two locations, and Lynas is continuing to conduct due diligence at both locations.

As part of the MoU, the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder has offered to actively assist Lynas in attracting a residential workforce for the plant’s operation. In addition, the city has offered to provide assistance to Lynas for the initial staffing of the plant.

Lynas CEO and Managing Director Amanda Lacaze said, “We are very pleased to announce this MoU with the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Kalgoorlie has a rich mining history and continues to work with industry to develop the region and its communities. Lynas already employs graduates from the Western Australia School of Mines, which is located in Kalgoorlie, and we look forward to continuing this partnership.

“Access to infrastructure and a skilled workforce makes it an attractive investment destination, and with this MoU we can further assess the suitability of potential sites in Kalgoorlie for our cracking and leaching plant.”

Lynas Corp. is the world’s second-largest producer of rare earth materials. The company operates one of the world’s highest-grade rare earth mines at Mt Weld and a sustainable chemical processing operation in Gebeng, Malaysia.