Today’s announcement by Lynas Corporation that it will base its new cracking and leaching plant in Kalgoorlie is a vote of confidence in the Goldfields region that will create job opportunities for West Australians and help diversify the local economy.
The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA’s (CME) Chief Executive Paul Everingham said Western Australia has the opportunity to become a major supplier of the critical minerals that are needed in smartphones, electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines and vital components in military technology.
“Kalgoorlie was the natural choice for Lynas given its close proximity to its Mt Weld mine as well as its history in mining and processing, which has most commonly centred on gold but in recent times, has expanded to include battery and rare earth minerals such as lithium and cobalt,” he said.
“This decision by the world’s second largest producer of rare earth materials is a major economic boost for the region, particularly as Lynas’ investment includes infrastructure and supply chain capabilities which can form the basis of further industry development in the Goldfields.
“The drive to reduce the world’s dependence upon fossil fuels and decrease carbon emissions, coupled with the growing demand for technology that is faster, smaller and more efficient, is expected to foster significant growth in the rare earths market in the coming decade.
“The Goldfields region will be an integral part in positioning Western Australia as a global rare earths supplier of choice.”
Last month, a formal partnership was signed between Australia and the United States on developing both nations’ critical mineral assets. The Federal Government has also established a dedicated office within the Department of Industry to help support critical minerals projects.