Watch out, China. Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corp on Wednesday announced it had produced its first batch of rare earths products from its Malaysian processing plant, in what could be a fitting finale to its hardships battling out for the operation of the facility.
Shares of Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corporation jumped as much as 7.2 per cent in early morning trade at 1146 AEDT as the mining company disclosed its highly controversial processing plant in Malaysia continued to post significant progress in the production of the precious metals which are essential components to a number of technological advancements.
It was in September 2012, after a five-year wait, that Lynas finally got to hold in its hands the highly controversial temporary operating license to jumpstart the Malaysian rare earths facility.
In a brief statement submitted to the Australian Stock Exchange, Lynas said it remain committed to ramp up rare earths production to 11,000 tonnes per annum by the second quarter of 2013.
The statement did not specify how much has been produced for the first batch.
Earlier, the company forecast its first cash flow from the Malaysian plant will be in the 2014 financial year.
The Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP), prior to September 2012, was already long prepared to start operations but strong public opposition by residents and environmentalists hampered the start.
Subject to several conditions, Lynas' rare earths TOL is effective for two years from Sept 3 this year to Sept 2, 2014.
It was in November 2012 that Lynas eventually fired up the operations of the rare earths processing plant.
The $800 million plant has been touted as the world's biggest outside China, the world's stronghold of rare earths, where more than 95 per cent are produced.
In January, China's export volume of rare earth minerals, metals, and compounds reached only 1,092 metric tonnes, down 37.6 per cent a year ago and 66.4 per cent from the previous month of December 2012, according to data released by the China Customs.
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