Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) has been awarded Major Project Status by the Australian Government to establish its new Rare Earths processing plant in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator the Matthew Canavan, said Major Project Status formally recognises the strategic significance of the project to the Australian economy and provides a single entry point for Commonwealth Government approvals as well as project support, coordination and assistance with State government approvals.
Lynas CEO and Managing Director, Amanda Lacaze, said the project will also be a foundation for the development of infrastructure in Kalgoorlie, including utilities and the production of chemicals used in minerals processing beyond the Rare Earths industry.
She said Lynas will seek the support of government and commercial partners in local infrastructure development. The project aligns with key government policies, including regional development, value-added processing and infrastructure development. The project also supports the Australian Government’s Critical Minerals Strategy.
The Lynas Kalgoorlie plant will undertake Cracking and Leaching of Rare Earth concentrate from Lynas’ Mt Weld mine, which is also located in Western Australia’s Goldfields region. Lynas will also explore opportunities for additional processing in Kalgoorlie.
The plant is expected to create up to 500 jobs during peak construction and increase Lynas’ workforce in the Goldfields to over 200 people.
Ms Lacaze said Lynas intends to staff the plant with a local, residential workforce and continue its association with Curtin University and the WA School of Mines in Kalgoorlie.
The project has also been awarded Lead Agency status by the Western Australian government.
“Developing a robust and resilient critical minerals and Rare Earths industry is a priority for the Australian Government and Lynas is in a unique position to contribute to this as we are the only significant Rare Earths producer outside China,” Ms Lacaze said.
“This formal support by the Australian Government recognises the importance of our new Rare Earths processing plant in Kalgoorlie to Australia’s critical minerals aspirations, as well as to jobs and investment in regional Western Australia.
Lynas will be making a significant investment in Kalgoorlie and the Government’s assistance with coordinating and facilitating approvals will be very helpful as the project progresses.”
Lynas operates one of the world’s highest grade Rare Earth mines in Mt Weld in Western Australia.