(Reuters) – Lynas Rare Earths Ltd said on Thursday it got a A$14.8 million ($10.9 million) grant from Australia to commercialise a new mineral refining process that produces high-purity rare-earth carbonate.
The grant comes as nations worldwide look at ways to curb their reliance on China for the specialised minerals, which are used in a range of products including electric vehicles, smartphones and military equipment.
Lynas, the world's largest producer of rare earths outside China, said the new refining process would be used at its upcoming A$500 million processing facility in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
About half the cost of implementing the new process at Kalgoorlie will be met by the grant, which was made as part of the Australian government's Modern Manufacturing Initiative.
According to a government website https://business.gov.au/grants-and-programs/modern-manufacturing-initiative-manufacturing-integration, the initiative supports and co-funds projects to encourage linkages between local businesses and domestic and international firms.
Lynas said it could supply the rare-earth carbonate produced in Kalgoorlie to its plant in Malaysia and its proposed facility in the United States.
Shares of the company rose as much as 8.2% in their biggest intraday jump in five months.
($1 = 1.3604 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)