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Lynas boss has firm eye on growth

Lynas Rare Earths boss Amanda Lacaze says the company is focused on growing its capabilities as fast as possible so it can continue to match the market demand for its essential elements products.

Ms Lacaze made the comment after Lynas posted a 244 per cent surge in annual profits to a record $540.8 million on the back of strong demand and prices for its neodymium and praseodymium, which are used in the permanent magnets that drive the engines of electric cars and wind turbines.

The result was achieved on the back of an 88 per cent jump in revenue to $920m.

Ms Lacaze said rare earths prices were sustained at high levels during the second half of the year, and the NdPr market price remained 70-80 per cent higher than in the same period last year.

“Closing cash at $965.6m allows us to confidently progress our various growth initiatives,” she noted.

“This is important as Lynas is uniquely positioned with a resilient supply chain for rare earth materials from our facilities in WA and Malaysia to our partners in Vietnam, Japan and Europe.”

Ms Lacaze said measures implemented across the business had mitigated some of the challenges presented by the external environment, including shipping delays, input cost increases, water supply issues and the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Importantly for our shareholders, we made good progress on the Lynas 2025 growth project and achieved a number of key milestones during the year,” she said.

Lynas’ cracking and leaching plant at Kalgoorlie is now 40 per cent complete and this month the company announced a a $500 million expansion of its Mt Weld mine near Laverton.

In June, the company won a $US120m US Department of Defense contract for the construction of a commercial heavy rare earths separation facility, which will be co-located with the company’s light rare earth separation facility, which is also sponsored and half funded by the US Government.

Planning for the facility is well advanced with an existing industrial site identified on the Gulf Coast of Texas. It is hoped the facility will be operational in the 2025 financial year.

The company predicts demand for permanent magnets used in electrics cars and wind turbines will double by 2030.

Ms Lacaze said further investment in capacity increases at each stage of production would ensure that Lynas was well positioned to continue to grow with the market as a supplier of choice to 2025 and beyond.

Lynas shares closed up 11¢, or 1 per cent, at $9.03 on Friday.

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