Australian mineral sands explorer Iluka Resources said on Thursday that it is actively exploring the potential for downstream processing of rare earths in Australia.
The Perth-based company indicated that the endeavour could be the Phase 3 development of its Eneabba operation in Western Australia, adding that it has commenced a feasibility study for a fully integrated rare earths refinery.
Iluka’s Eneabba operation is one of its main rare earths undertakings with the commissioning for Phase 2 of the project scheduled for the first half of 2022.
Rare earth elements are used in a wide range of consumer products, from iPhones to electric car motors, as well as military jet engines, satellites and lasers.
Iluka on Thursday also reported full year 2020 results, posting an annual net profit after tax of A$2.4 billion ($1.91 billion) from a loss of A$299.7 million a year ago.
($1 = 1.2544 Australian dollars)
(By Nikhil Subba; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)