The Department of Defense (DoD) awarded an approximately $120 million contract to Lynas USA, LLC to build an industrial scale, domestic separation and processing facility for Heavy Rare Earth Elements (HREE). Once completed, the facility will house the nation’s largest commercially sustainable capability for separation of HREE in support of DoD, essential commercial, and clean energy products.
This collaboration, funded by the Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) Program, will design, build, and bring into operation a facility for the separation and processing of HREE. Lynas USA, with support from its Australian-based parent company Lynas Rare Earths Ltd., will establish a first of its kind full-scale REE platform in the United States complete with state of the art waste-water recovery techniques that incorporate more environmental friendly approaches and materials handling processes.
Lynas CEO and Managing Director, Amanda Lacaze, stated, “Lynas is a proven producer of separated rare earth materials and this project will build on that experience to create the most cost efficient and environmentally responsible separation and processing supply chain for the U.S. defense and industrial base. The Lynas facility, which will be built on the Gulf Coast of Texas, will greatly improve the U.S. economy’s access to HREE and will give the defense industrial base and other critical commercial industries access to products that are sustainably produced and quality assured.”
This effort is a key component of the DoD’s rare earth supply chain resiliency initiative, which has awarded nearly $220 million over the past 3 years to enhance America’s rare earth supply chains. This project directly supports the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) objective of helping the United States and its allies build more resilient economies and aligns with the framework’s four pillars of a connected, resilient, clean, and fair economy.
“HREEs are an increasingly important part of any economy, with applications in virtually every industry including both defense and commercial markets,” said the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Resilience, Ms. Halimah Najieb-Locke. “This effort is a cornerstone event in securing resilient supply chains by enabling the United States and its allies to gain an organic capability for critical minerals and materials and depart from foreign dependence as directed by President Biden’s Executive Order 14017.”
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