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Aussie minerals company scores major US contract

24 April 2020

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt has congratulated Australian critical minerals company Lynas Corporation on securing a major contract with the US Department of Defence.

Lynas will help design a new heavy rare earth elements (HREE) separation plant set to be built in Texas.

“While the final details regarding project size are yet to be worked out, this is a great result for Lynas after putting forward a submission last December and will now be working alongside Texan company Blue Line,” Minister Pitt said.

“I also see this as recognition of Australian skill and knowledge in the field of critical minerals, particularly rare earths, in which Australia is emerging as a key global producer.

“America currently has one rare earth mine, which has been sending its minerals to China for separation and processing.

“The new plant that Lynas is helping to design will be the first HREE separation plant outside of China, as the US aims to become self-reliant and less exposed to supply chain vulnerability,” Minister Pitt said.

The contract announcement follows on from the work by Federal and State Governments  to develop a Critical Minerals Work Plan and to establish the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office to support the development and growth of our the sector.

Australia and the United States recently formalised a partnership on developing critical minerals supply chains. 

“I am committed to building on this important relationship with the United States and in particular with Secretary of Commerce Mr Wilbur Ross,” Minister Pitt said.

“I also look forward to strengthening our relationship with other crucial players in the critical minerals supply chain in Asia and Europe.”

Australia is the leading producer of some of the world’s most sought-after critical minerals, including rare earths, lithium, zirconium and titanium.

“These critical minerals are used in the manufacture of advanced technological products, including powerful magnets, batteries and some medical equipment,” Minister Pitt said.

“Just as the US seeks to reduce dependence on other countries to process its critical minerals, the COVID-19 experience provides opportunities for Australian manufactures to make our own country more self-reliant.

“We have the resources and the resourcefulness to make the most of these new opportunities.”

Media contact: Minister Pitt's office 02 6277 7180