Lower rare earth price level impacts balance sheet; CEO nevertheless speaks of “productive” year.
Lynas reported figures for fiscal 2023 on Tuesday (PDF). The group, which specializes in the mining and processing of rare earths, reported a 43 percent drop in profits to the equivalent of $200 million compared to the same period last year. The background to this is the fall in prices for rare earths. They were at a record level in fiscal 2022. CEO Amanda Lacaze nevertheless speaks of a “productive” year for the company. She refers to the record production of rare earth concentrate and neodymium-praseodymium in the year’s second half.
Meanwhile, construction of the processing plant in Kalgoorlie in the west of the country is making progress. The project is attracting particular attention because the rare earth refinery operated by Lynas in Malaysia will likely have to cease operations, at least in part, from January 2024. The country’s government has banned certain facets of the processing operation because it produces slightly radioactive residues. Meanwhile, the cost of the Kalgoorlie construction project has risen significantly and is now quoted at the equivalent of $470 million. The original cost estimate was around 370 million. Lynas intends to maintain its commitment in Malaysia even after completion, and the company continues to cooperate productively with the Malaysian government.
CEO Lacaze also said in a conference call that partners were being actively sought to build the downstream business in the United States. Rare earths are mined in the U.S., but processing is done overseas. With a processing plant being built in Texas, Lynas wants to change that.