Rare earths processing plant to be built at Kalgoorlie

Lynas Corporation has announced that it will build a processing plant near Kalgoorlie for rare earth materials from the company’s Mt Weld mine.

The Mt Weld Central Lanthanide Deposit is one of the highest grade rare earth deposits in the world. The processing work for Lynas Coporation’s mine is currently carried out in Malaysia.

Rare earth materials are used in advanced manufacturing for the renewable energy, aerospace and defence industries, which are expected to experience rising demand.

The new processing plant is expected to generate approximately 500 construction and 200 ongoing jobs in the region.

WA premier Mark McGowan said that Lynas Corporation’s decision to establish the plant was a great outcome for Kalgoorlie and the Goldfields region.

“Kalgoorlie has a long and rich history in mining innovation, so there is no better place for Lynas Corporation, and other multi-national businesses, to set up their processing operations,” McGowan said.

“I’m pleased Lynas will continue to work with Curtin University and the WA School of Mines to enhance knowledge and technologies surrounding the processing of critical minerals in Australia and continue to upskill Western Australians for these important local roles.”

State mining and petroleum minister Bill Johnston said that the government was focussed on positioning Western Australia at the centre of the global battery supply chain, including supplying battery materials and critical minerals.

“Downstream processing is a key plank of the Strategy, which actively supports investment that enables raw minerals to be processed into more valuable products, creating jobs and diversifying the economy,” Johnston said.