Lynas awarded Pentagon contract, Lendlease’s 100MW data centre in Japan and Commonwealth Bank offers discounted NBN

Lynas Rare Earths Pentagon Lendlease data centre Commonwealth Bank NBN Pro Medicus ASX LYC BHP LLC PME CBA
Lynas Rare Earths is set to build a heavy rare earths separation facility in Texas backed by the US Department of Defence.

Lynas Rare Earths (ASX: LYC) has been awarded a contract worth US$120 million (A$174 million) by the United States Department of Defence to aid in building a commercial heavy rare earths separation facility in Texas.

The facility, which the company aims to be operational by the 2025 financial year, will be the first outside of China that is able to separate heavy rare earths.

Lynas managing director Amanda Lacaze said the deal indicates the promise the US is showing towards “ensuring that supply chains for these critical materials are resilient and environmentally responsible”.

“The development of a US heavy rare earths separation facility is an important part of our accelerated growth plan,” she added.

“We look forward to not only meeting the rare earth needs of the US government, but also reinvigorating the local rare earths market.”

Lynas currently mines rare earths in Western Australia and ships to Malaysia, where rare earth oxides are made.

The investment from the US is also beneficial in reducing the reliance on China as a sole source of supply.

“A singular supply chain is problematic, particularly in an area where you’ve got rapid growth and you’ve got a material which is critical for success,” Ms Lacaze said.

BHP Group

The Trudeau-led Canadian government has announced a multimillion-dollar investment to transform the Jansen potash mine run by BHP Group (ASX: BHP) into “the cleanest and most sustainable in the world”.

In an effort to make the Jansen potash mine one of the most technically advanced in the world and the most sustainable, the government has pledged up to C$100 million (A$112 million) in its investment.

The country continues in its bid to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with investments such as this being pivotal.

BHP Minerals Americas president Rag Udd said the partnership is an exciting opportunity for all parties involved.

“BHP is honoured and excited to partner with the government, Indigenous peoples and the people of Saskatchewan to create a mine that will use the latest technology to deliver a productive, efficient and sustainable operation that will have benefits for our employees and communities, and value for BHP and Canada for decades to come,” he said.

BHP will use electric vehicles and equipment to operate the potash mine, expected to be located about 150km east of Saskatoon.

With supply chain uncertainties rising due to the sanctions against Russia by Western nations, global prices of potash have surged unsurprisingly.

The Jansen mine annual potash production capacity will be roughly 8 million tonnes, making it one of the world’s largest.

Lendlease Group

Lendlease Group (ASX: LLC) and Singapore’s Princeton Digital Group (PDG) have announced they are constructing a 100-megawatt data centre campus in the city of Saitama, Japan.

Lendlease managing director of Japan and head of telecoms and data infrastructure Asia, Andrew Gauci, said the opportunity to work with a Pan-Asia market leader like PDG is exciting.

“We are excited to commence construction of our first data centre project under Lendlease Data Centre Partners for a Pan-Asia market leader like PDG,” he said.

“This contributes to the Japanese government’s plans to increase data capability in the country and improve digital resilience.”

“Data centres are also a key sector for Lendlease and we look forward to accelerating our growth in the data infrastructure sector across our strategic markets.”

Japanese construction company Kajima Corporation has been appointed as contractor, while Nikken Sekkei was appointed as the designer.

The first phase is expected to be ready in 2024.

Pro Medicus

Pro Medicus (ASX: PME) has announced this week its Visage Imaging business has signed two key contract renewals valued at a combined $47 million.

The renewals were revealed as Sutter Health, a large integrated delivery network (IDN) based in California, signing on for a further seven years and Wellspan Health, signing on for a further five years.

Pro Medicus chief executive officer Dr Sam Hupert said the renewals came as a result of the quality of the company’s work, which led to the companies signing on for longer than typically expected.

“The industry norm for renewals is for short extensions to the original contract at the same or lower price,” he said.

“The fact that our clients have renewed for a full or longer contract term at an increased price supports our belief that the Visage solution delivers unparalleled value both in terms of financial and clinical ROI [return on investment].”

Commonwealth Bank

Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) has announced it will offer discounted NBN and broadband services to its customers through a partnership with More Telecom and Tangerine.

Through the new partnership, CBA will acquire a 25% ownership stake in both companies.

Commonwealth Bank Group Retail Banking Services executive Angus Sullivan said the company is constantly looking for ways to benefit its customers and offer ways to reward them.

“We’re looking at how we can help save customers money with their everyday bills and commitments and our decision to partner with More Telecom and Tangerine highlights how we’re continuing to reward our customers,” he said.

“As the country’s biggest supporter of getting Aussies into homes, we are reimagining banking for our customers, creating more value for them, putting more money back in their pockets, and helping them save money by exposing them to new ways of doing things and new quality products and services.”

The Australian banking giant aims to have More’s NBN services integrated into the CommBank app over time, which will help customers personally navigate their internet plans.

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