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Lynas stockpiling rare earth elements

The date of: 2019-07-30
viewed: 12

source:The West Australian

Rare earth miner Lynas Corp says it is stockpiling two rare earth metals and limiting sales to its strategic partners because of price volatility amid the US-China trade war and a slowing global economy.

Lynas says as of June 30 it had 323 tonnes of the rare earth metals neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr), having produced 1,505 tonnes of NdPr in the three months to June 30.

The elements are used to make high-powered magnets for use in such things as turbines, microphones, speakers, hard disks and engines for hybrid cars, and with China producing most of the world's supply they have been seen as a key bargaining chip in the country's trade dispute with the US.

'Following an extended period of softness in the published NdPr price, there was a strong price uplift later in the quarter,' with prices rising about 50 per cent, Lynas said.

'However the market remains volatile with the price settling back to lower levels by mid July.

'In these volatile conditions, we remain committed to our strategy of reserving NdPr for our strategic customers.

'Demand is growing strongly within this key customer base and Lynas will continue this strategy of reserving production to meet the current and future needs of these strategic customers in the current quarter.'

Even following that strategy Lynas had $87.5 million in sales revenue on cash receipts of $106 million, the company said.

While magnet-buyers are seeking long term security with multiple supply chains, the weak Chinese economy and slow growth of the automotive market means demand is low, Lynas said.

As of June 30 it had a cash balance of $89.7 million, up from $67.1 million at the start of the quarter.

At 1255 AEST Lynas shares were down seven cents, or 2.6 per cent, to a three-week low of $2.59.

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