Rare earth miner Lynas Corporation officially opened its Mt Weld mine in Western Australia last week with the Premier of Western Australia Colin Barnett performing the honors. The mine is located 35 km south of Laverton and is a $100 million project.
The executive chairman of the company, Nick Curtis was in Kalgoorlie also where he attended the annual Diggers and Dealers mining conference. The company is doing very well on the strong prices of its products and the even steadier future demand for them.
Nick Curtis said that the company had already allocated about 70 per cent of its 11,000 million tonnes from stage one of its projects, but was leaving itself some room for flexibility. He added that they were getting very close to putting up a sold out sign.
Mr Curtis said that there were industrial companies examining their supply chain who are very interested in having strategic discussions about long-term relationships with Lynas.
He added that the Mt Weld opening was a great milestone for the company. It was the first rare earth mine to be opened in Australia, which showed that Australia has a diversity of minerals to supply its trading partners. The company does not get quite the same response for its other venture in Malaysia from the locals as it does in Australia.
The company has had some trouble with its processing plant in Kuantan in central Malaysia. There has been considerable community opposition to the plant. A review by the International Atomic Energy Agency commissioned by the Malaysian government was conducted to convince the residents of the area near the $220 million plant that it was fully compliant with international safety standards. However the community backlash in Malaysia continues to be an issue to be dealt with by Lynas.