Lynas Rare Earths to pursue organic growth opportunities after MP Materials merger discussions called off

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By Colin Hay - 
Lynas Rare Earths ASX LYC MP Materials merger off mining resources

Rumoured merger discussions between Australia’s Lynas Rare Earths (ASX: LYC) and fellow rare earths developer MP Materials Corp (NYSE: MP) of the US have ground to a halt.

In a short announcement to the ASX today, Lynas confirmed the recent media speculation of a potential transaction with MP Materials.

The proposed corporate move would have seen a merger between the world’s two biggest producers of rare earths outside of China.

However, Lynas has now reported that the discussions “are not ongoing”.

Lynas added that it is implementing a strong organic growth plan and continues to seek opportunities to use its proven expertise to build scale, improve market functioning and add value for shareholders.

World-class deposit

Lynas’ Mt Weld mine in Western Australia is regarded as one of the world’s premier rare earths deposits.

The company also operates the world’s largest single rare earths processing plant in Malaysia.

Lynas recently succeeded in introducing the first feed of material from Mt Weld into a Kalgoorlie rare earths processing facility.

The company is also undertaking a significant upgrade at its Malaysian plant to increase neodymium and praseodymium production capacity to approximately 10,500 tonnes a year by December 2024.

Neodymium and praseodymium are two of the world’s most sought-after rare earth elements.

US rare earths powerhouse

MP Materials owns and operates Mountain Pass, the sole integrated rare earth mining and processing site in North America.

The Colorado project’s processing facility is the only scaled site of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

The Lynas and MP merger talks were of particular interest to Australian junior explorer Locksley Resources (ASX: LKY), whose Mojave rare earth project in California abuts Mountain Pass.

Locksley has recently been encouraged by its initial assessment of the results from a program undertaken near Mountain Pass where previous work returned highly-anomalous results of up to 2,600 parts per million total rare earths oxides.