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Lynas Rare Earths has announced its Malaysian arm will become a producer of two new separated heavy rare earths (HRE) as soon as next year.

A new process will produce separated dysprosium (Dy) and terbium (Tb) at Lynas Malaysia for the first time and will complement Lynas’ existing light rare earths product range.

Dy and Tb are both essential to high performance rare earth permanent magnets used in electric vehicles and high-tech applications such as micro-capacitors which are essential to all electronic devices.

Currently, Dy, Tb and other HRE oxides from Lynas’ Mount Weld ore body are sold as a mixed HRE compound known as SEGH.

The reconfiguration of one of Lynas Malaysia’s solvent extraction circuits will facilitate the production of Dy and Tb.

The new circuit is designed with capacity to separate up to 1500 tonnes of SEGH per year.

“Lynas’ Mount Weld deposit is remarkable for its endowment of heavy rare earth minerals as well as light rare earth minerals,” Lynas managing director and chief executive officer Amanda Lacaze said.

“This circuit reconfiguration at Lynas Malaysia provides a pathway to accelerate our commitment to processing all of the elements in the Mount Weld ore body.

“Dy and Tb are important inputs to high performance magnets and electronic devices and we are pleased to enhance our product range to meet current and prospective customers’ needs.”

As a result of the separation of Dy and Tb from the SEGH compound, Lynas’ HRE product range will increase to include Dy, Tb, unseparated samarium, europium, and gadolinium, as well as holmium concentrate and unseparated SEGH.

Lynas is also progressing pre-construction activities for its planned US rare earths processing facility.

Both Lynas Malaysia and the planned US rare earths processing facility have been designed to accept third party feedstocks as they come online.