Lynas closes Malaysia plant due to coronavirus curbs

The Lynas Advance Material Plant (LAMP) in Malaysia. (Image courtesy of Lynas Corp.)

Rare earths producer Lynas Corp said on Monday it closed its processing plant in Malaysia temporarily after the government introduced strict measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

Lynas, the world’s largest rare earths producer outside China, said its flagship mine Mt Weld in Australia will continue to operate.

Malaysia deployed its army on Sunday to enforce a two-week curb on travel in a country that has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia.

The shutdown is expected to last until the end of March, and the miner said it left some work-in-progress inventory at the plant to help it restart once restrictions are eased.

During this time, the miner said it would pay all its staff and was reducing its spending.

The Australian firm said its cash balance at the end of 2019 was A$111.8 million ($63.96 million) and that it expects a positive cash flow during the March quarter.

($1 = 1.7479 Australian dollars)

(By Nikhil Kurian Nainan; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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