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Lynas JV awarded initial funding for designing US rare earths facility

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Lynas JV awarded initial funding for designing US rare earths facility

The U.S. Department of Defense intends to award a phase-one contract to ASX-listed Lynas Corp. Ltd. for a planned heavy rare earth separation facility in the U.S., after the company's joint venture with Blue Line Corp. of Texas submitted a tender in December 2019.

The phase-one funding will allow Lynas and Blue Line to complete detailed planning and design work for building the facility. After phase one, the Defense Department "will conduct a merit evaluation of Lynas/Blue Line and any other parties selected," the company said April 22.

Successful completion of the first-phase milestones may lead to further contracts for commercial-scale production and operation of a separation facility, though this is not guaranteed.

The U.S. Army is looking to invest in a rare earths plant as part of the country's efforts to boost domestic supplies of the materials used in military weapons and technology, Reuters reported.