By Tejaswi Marthi
(Reuters) -Australia's Lynas Rare Earths Ltd posted record quarterly revenue on Monday on the back of "very strong" demand for its range of specialized metals that offset softer prices, sending its shares to a more than eight-year high.
Lynas, the largest rare earths producer outside China, reported a jump in fourth-quarter revenue to A$185.9 million ($137 million), more than triple A$38 million a year earlier, pushing the stock up 9% to A$7.01, its highest since January 2013.
Demand for rare earth materials such as neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) has rebounded from a pandemic-driven drop last year as electric vehicles continue to gain popularity amid a global push to reduce carbon emissions.
NdPr is also used in magnets for windfarms, gadgets like smartphones, and military equipment, and Lynas and other western producers stand to benefit from efforts by the United States to curb its reliance on China for the specialized minerals.
"Demand for Lynas products, in particular for our NdPr product family, continued to be very strong through the quarter, leading to record sales and cash collection," Chief Executive Officer Amanda Lacaze said in a statement.
Lacaze said a drop in prices during the quarter was due to a "normal correction after the sharp and speculative increases seen in the previous months" and added that prices had strengthened again in July.
Lynas produced 1,393 tonnes of NdPr in the quarter, up from 775 tonnes a year ago. Its full product range garnered an average selling price of A$39.1/kg, up from A$20.2/kg last year.
Lynas also said it had identified a second potential site in Malaysia to build a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility amid ongoing delays for clearance of an earlier site identified by the Pahang state government.
($1 = 1.3576 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Tejaswi Marthi and Harish Sridharan, additional reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Richard Pullin)