Australian rare earths producer Lynas Corp Ltd posted a smaller-than-expected annual loss on Monday and outlined plans to raise A$425 million ($304.94 million) to fund construction of an ore processing plant in Australia.
Lynas expects to process low-level radioactive material from its Mt Weld mine at the new cracking and leaching plant in Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, shifting part of its operations off its Malaysian plant where it has faced stiff opposition due to environmental concerns.
The Malyasian government has given the miner four years to build a permanent site to store waste and move its cracking and leaching facility outside Malaysia.
“By strengthening our balance sheet, we can mitigate global economic uncertainties and continue to progress our foundation project, which is the Kalgoorlie Rare Earth Processing Facility,” Chief Executive Amanda Lacaze said.
“The project has received strong support from the Kalgoorlie-Boulder City Council, Western Australian and Australian governments.”
The world’s biggest rare earths miner outside China said its loss after tax came in at A$19.4 million for the year ended June 30, compared with a profit of A$83.1 million a year earlier.
This was better than analysts’ expectations of a loss of A$27.6 million, according to Refinitiv estimates.
Operations at Lynas’ Malaysian processing plant were halted through April under government-mandated COVID-19 restrictions, leading to a significant drop in output in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020.