Lynas on track to get new Malaysia permit by March

Lyans’ Mount Weld rare earths mine in Western Australia. (Image courtesy of Lynas Corp.)

Australia’s Lynas Corp posted a 7.4% rise in quarterly revenue on Friday as higher demand for rare earth elements countered weaker prices and the miner said it was on track to get its processing license renewed by Malaysia in March.

The biggest rare earths producer outside of China said quarterly production of neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr), used in magnets utilized in electric vehicles and wind turbines, rose to 1,270 tonnes from 1,223 tonnes a year earlier.

Lynas said growth in the electric vehicle market is expected to result in a sharp rise in demand for heavy rare earth elements such as Dysprosium and Terbium.

Rare earth oxide production fell 18.8% to 3,592 tonnes in the quarter, its lowest in almost four years.

Malaysia had renewed Lynas’ operating license for a rare earths processing plant in August for six months with new conditions.

The miner on Friday said it was making good progress and confident of lodging renewal documents to satisfy the new licensing conditions.

Last month, the company warned that NdPr production in 2019 would not be better than 2018, as it failed to get an approval from a Malaysian regulator to increase its lanthanide concentrate processing limit for 2019.

“We are now preparing the additional reports requested by the regulator and will reapply for a processing limit increase for calendar year 2020,” the company said on Friday.

Lynas said it submitted a tender to the U.S. Department of Defense to build a heavy rare earths separation plant in the United States.

The company reported sales revenue of A$85.8 million ($58.68 million) for the second quarter ended Dec. 31, up from A$79.9 million a year earlier, helped by strong demand from its key customers in Japan.

($1 = 1.462 Australian dollars)

(By Melanie Burton and Shriya Ramakrishnan; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Amy Caren Daniel)

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