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Lynas says demand will rise in medium term

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AAP

April 19 2013, 11:29AM

The Federal Court of Malaysia last month backed earlier lower-court decisions that dismissed a challenge by environmentalists opposing the company's rare earths refinery in Malaysia.

In its March quarter report Lynas reiterated its production guidance and said it appointed Eric Noyrez as chief executive officer at the end of last month.

The company said prices fell 13 per cent compared to the previous quarter, achieving an average Mount Weld basket price of US$37.22 per kg in the first quarter.

At the end of the quarter, 15,593 dry tonnes of concentrate containing 5,540 tonnes of rare earths oxides (REO) were bagged ready for export.

"Lynas has projected rare earths demand to grow at above-GDP rates over the medium term driven by increases in demand from key sectors such as rare earths permanent magnets, autocatalysts and fluid cracking catalysts," the company said.

These three markets are expected to account for around half of global rare earths demand by 2015.

Total costs for projects remain unchanged for the quarter.

By the end of the decade, Lynas predicts supply shortages in some rare earths element markets such as Neodymium/Praesodymium and Lanthanum by the end of the decade.

The company added that the concentration plant in WA was handed over to the contractor in early March for commissioning.

Sydney-based Lynas says it's well funded into the generation of sustainable operating cashflow.

Total staff at the Malaysia site fell to 1,515 at end of March, down from 2,300 in mid-December 2012 as the project nears completion.

Commercial production from the plant in February marked a significant milestone for Lynas, which has battled activists in Malaysia concerned about the project's impact on health and the environment.