Lynas signs MoU with Western Australian city on site for cracking and leaching plant

The operating licence of the Lynas rare earths processing plant at Gebeng, Kuantan, was renewed for six months in August subject to three conditions.

PETALING JAYA – Lynas Corporation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the city of Kargoolie-Boulder in Western Australia to scout for potential sites for its new cracking and leaching plant.

It was reported in May that Lynas was planning to relocate the plant from Malaysia to Western Australia as part of its 2025 growth plan.

Upon site assessment studies, Kargoolie and Mount Weld, also in Western Australia, were shortlisted as ideal locations, although a final decision has not been made.

Last month, the Lynas rare earths processing plant at Gebeng, Kuantan, was given a six-month renewal of its operating licence subject to three conditions, including relocation of its cracking and leaching facility abroad within four years.

The other conditions were that the company must identify a location to build a Permanent Disposal Facility (PDF) for its water leach purification (WLP) residue, and that it will have to end all research and development activities related to the use of the radioactive WLP residue as condisoil in the field of agriculture.

“Lynas already employs graduates from WA School of Mines, which is located in Kargoolie, and we look forward to continuing this partnership,” Amanda Lacaze, Lynas CEO and managing director, said in a statement today.

She said it would be an attractive investment destination due to access to infrastructure and a skilled workforce.

John Walker, chief executive officer of Kargoolie-Boulder, welcomed the MoU as a positive step toward further development of the city as a “downstream processing hub”.

“We are looking forward to working with Lynas Corporation as they develop their interests in Kargoolie-Boulder and the Goldfields region, and obviously there are a number of ways we can assist them moving forward,” Walker said.