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Australia's Lynas to invest $345 million in rare-earths mine to tap demand

(Reuters) - Australia’s Lynas Rare Earths Ltd on Wednesday unveiled plans to invest A$500 million ($345.40 million) to expand capacity at its Western Australia-based Mt Weld mine, in an attempt to meet market demand for rare-earths materials.

Mt Weld mine has deposits of rare-earths elements neodymium (Nd) and praseodymium (Pr), which are in high demand for making magnets used in electric vehicles and wind energy generation, amid a global push for decarbonisation.

Lynas, the world's largest producer of rare-earths outside China, targets a feedstock production capacity of 12,000 tonnes per annum NdPr equivalent in 2024 from the expansion, pushing on its previously announced 2025 growth plan for Mt Weld. (reut.rs/3zuua57)

“Investment in capacity expansion will be required at every production stage,” Lynas said on Wednesday.

The company forecast expansion work to start early next year, with full operation planned for 2024.

The expansion of mine capacity in existing upstream and downstream production would offer an additional 2,400 tonnes NdPr equivalent production per year, the company added.

Shares of Lynas rose 4.3% to their highest levels since June 28.

($1 = 1.4476 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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