SMM7, March 27: after receiving funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, Australian rare earth giant Linus Mining Company (Lynas Corp) recently signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to begin preliminary design work for a large rare earth separation plant in Texas, which is expected to be completed in mid-2021. It is reported that the initial stages of design and planning may cost about $30 million.
Lynas Corp, a major source of rare earths outside China, said in a recent statement that the move would help push forward its project in Texas with Blue Line company (Blue Line).
Lynas said it plans to complete the planning of the work in the current fiscal year.
The U.S. government's financial push for the rare earths industry came after President Trump ordered in 2017 to reduce reliance on imports of key minerals needed for products including missile systems, electric vehicles and consumer technology. China supplies about 80% of rare earth imports to the United States, according to the U. S. Geological Survey.
Sophie Lu, a financial analyst at Bloomberg New Energy, said that there are currently no rare earth processing plants in the United States, and the development of three new projects, including the Lynas rare earth plant, will add about 10, 000 tons of processing capacity. Although this is less than the total needs of the United States, it is sufficient to meet the country's military needs.
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