On Monday, rare earth producer Lynas Corp stated, it has signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to begin initial design preparations for its heavy rare earth separation facility in Texas.
The Pentagon is providing initial funding for this project.
The development forms part of a concerted effort by the United States to reduce its dependency on China for processing the strategic minerals that are widely used in making high-tech equipment ranging from mobile phones to missiles.
Lynas, the largest rare earth producer outside China, expects to finish the planning and design work for the facility in fiscal 2021.
The facility will process heavy rare earths sourced from Lynas’ flagship Mt Weld mine in Western Australia, which the company says will then become the “only source of separated Heavy Rare Earths outside China.”