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The Mt Weld pit looking north. Image: Lynas Corporation

Lynas Corporation’s contract for a United States-based heavy rare earth separation facility is uncertain after the government decided to rethink its decision.

Media reports in the United States’ political debate cited merits of a domestic supply, or supply from the country’s allies and other sources.

Lynas stated it remained one of the two companies selected for phase one of the project, however understood that the United States Government’s progress on phase one was on hold while addressing those political issues.

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) had appointed local rare earths processor Blue Line to complete planning and design work for the facility with Lynas.

“We are committed to developing our heavy rare earth separation facility and work is continuing on the plant design and engineering,” Lynas stated in an ASX announcement.

“We continue to regard our heavy rare earth separation facility as an attractive strategic project.”

Lynas announced the contract award with the DoD in April, with the DoD said to be funding the phase one project.

Lynas also expressed its expectation for additional awards after completing its phase one milestones, particularly for commercial scale production and operation of the facility.

The company is progressing the construction of a cracking and leaching plant for rare earth minerals in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

Lynas mines rare earth oxides at its Mt Weld operations in Western Australia.