Rare Earths MMI®: Lynas Corp. Moves to Malaysia, Tries to Shore Up Output

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Australia’s Lynas Corp, one of only two rare earths producers outside China, expects to reach its initial output rate target by December at the latest which should shore up its shaky cash position, its new CEO said in her first interview with Reuters.

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Lynas and Molycorp are being closely watched as they are both on the cusp of achieving steady output four years after China tightened its grip on the world’s supply of the metals used in smart phones, cars and missiles and sent their prices rocketing.

With the two companies taking longer than expected to hit full stride, around 200 rival mine projects in Alaska, Canada, Sweden, Kyrgyzstan, South Africa and Western Australia, have been left on the drawing board as investors, lenders and manufacturers wait and watch.

Australian-owned Lynas is looking to streamline operations and move its entire operation to Malaysia, where most of its mines are, to reach full production. CEO Amanda Lacaze said: “As I approach the end of my first month as CEO of Lynas, I am very focused on addressing those areas of our business where we have been underperforming. I have reviewed the business with the team and we have identified opportunities to improve cost, production and financial performance. This streamlining of office locations is the first in a series of initiatives aimed at simplifying our approach and focusing on the highest value drivers in our business.”

Europium oxide finished as the week’s biggest mover on the weekly Rare Earths MMI® after dropping 8.3 percent and landing at CNY 3,300 ($531.60) per kilogram. Lanthanum oxide saw a 7.7 percent drop-off this week to end at CNY 18,000 ($2,900) per metric ton. The past week saw cerium oxide close at CNY 18,500 ($2,980) per metric ton after a 7.5 percent decline.

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Yttria weakened by 6.7 percent to land at CNY 42,000 ($6,766) per metric ton. Terbium oxide finished the week at CNY 3,000 ($483.27) per kilogram after falling 3.2 percent. Terbium oxide prices fell to CNY 3,000 ($483.27) per kilogram, down from CNY 3,100 ($498.34) a week ago. Terbium metal prices were off slightly at CNY 4,300 ($692.69) per kilogram, down from CNY 4,400 ($707.32) a week ago.

After a 1.4 percent decline, dysprosium oxide closed out the week at CNY 1,450 ($233.58) per kilogram. Neodymium traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 405,000 ($65,242) per metric ton. Neodymium oxide prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 305,000 ($49,133) per metric ton. Closing at CNY 580,000 ($93,433) per metric ton, praseodymium oxide remained unchanged for the week.

Rare earth carbonate traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 25,000 ($4,027) per metric ton. Samarium oxide remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 18,500 ($2,980) per metric ton. At CNY 280.00 ($45.11) per kilogram, the week finished with no movement for yttrium.

The Rare Earths MMI® collects and weights 14 global rare earth metal price points to provide a unique view into rare earth metal price trends. For more information on the Rare Earths MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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