Lynas ties huge expansion plans to Malaysian respite

However, as revealed in the Malaysian Parliament late last year, Lynas has appealed to have the terms removed entirely from his licence.

“We don’t normally say anything about this, but a few months ago someone in Parliament asked the minister if Lynas had asked for those conditions to be lifted. And he said, “Yes.” So it’s a matter of public records,” she said.

Lacaze said the science supports her claim: “As we have said many times before, there have been four separate scientific investigations. And everyone has said that Lyna’s operations are inherently low-risk and compliant with all regulations.”

Lyans chief executive, Amanda Lacaze, says their operations are

Lyans chief executive, Amanda Lacaze, says their operations are “inherently low-risk and compliant with all regulations.”

The lifting of the restrictions would also help Lynas solve the problem of expanding its operations to meet rising demand for rare earths amid booming electric vehicle and wind turbine conditions.

“We need to basically double our production” within the same timeframe that management previously planned to increase production by 50 percent, Lacaze told investors at the company’s shareholder meeting in November.

“That means we have to do more at each stage, that we’re going to have some additional separation plants like the planned plant in the US. But by far the most cost-effective way to increase production is to increase everything in your existing assets.”


Lacaze said at the meeting this means Malaysia will retain some cracking and leaching to handle the increasing supply of rare earth ores from Lynas’ Mt Weld mine in Western Australia.

“Our goal would be to be able to do that. And if not, you know, we’re going to look at other options to increase our cracking and leaching capacity. And then I mentioned in the presentation that I am looking at ways to be able to run the downstream operations in Malaysia,” Lacaze said, referring to the value-added processing of its rare earths beyond the basic cracking and leaching process.

Lynas investors have thrived amid boom conditions, with the stock — which was trading at around $2 pre-COVID — surging past the $10 mark just two years later.

But rising demand — thanks to demand for electric cars and wind turbines for magnets that use Lynas’ rare earth elements — doesn’t mean the stock is a risk-free investment, analysts at Macquarie Equities told investors in a note to clients.

The broker pointed to potential weakness in neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) prices — two rare-earth elements essential to the manufacture of rare-earth permanent magnets — as a threat to earnings over the next three fiscal years.

“Movements in rare earths prices, particularly NdPr prices, that deviate from our forecasts pose the primary risk to our earnings estimates and valuations for Lynas,” Macquarie said.

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Brian Lowry

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