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Lynas Corporation has signed a sub-lease with the City of Kalgoorlie Boulder for a 135-hectare area where its rare earth processing facility in Western Australia will be constructed.

The processing facility is described as a “foundation project” for the Lynas 2025 growth vision, and will process rare earth concentrate from Lynas’ Mt Weld mine near Laverton.

Lynas is seeking regulatory approval to initiate preliminary works later this year, with construction scheduled for 2021.

The project is expected to be operational by mid-2023 and create up to 500 jobs during construction and over 100 ongoing residential jobs in Kalgoorlie.

Lynas chief executive and managing director Amanda Lacaze and City of Kalgoorlie Boulder chief executive John Walker signed the sub-lease last week, backed by the support of the Western Australian Government.

It follows a previous signing of an option to sub-lease the industrial zoned property in December last year.

“Securing the sub-lease for our new Kalgoorlie rare earth processing facility is another important milestone for our Kalgoorlie project and we thank the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Western Australian Government for their strong support,” Lacaze said.

“This is a significant project for Kalgoorlie and for the state of Western Australia and it will provide the foundation for a critical minerals processing hub in the Goldfields region of Western Australia.

“It is our intention to have a residential workforce and we will prioritise local and mid-sized suppliers during the construction of the facility.”

The industrial-zoned site located on the Great Eastern Highway in the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.