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ILUKA RESOURCES LTD. (Australia) going forward to full scale sales of magnet RE to Japanese market.

 ILUKA RESOURCES, a major Australian mineral sands company, will start sales of rare earth(RE) products in Japan from 2026. Iluka will produce a range of oxides products including the important permanent magnet grade oxides Neodymium, Praseodymium, Dysprosium and Terbium.  Over 90% of the worlds production of these metals are produced today via China, raising the risk of monopolistic controls, therefore it’s welcome news that a new secure supply source from a friendly nation such as Australia will bring more options for the Japanese industry.

 

 Iluka aims to sell into a range of industries with this new supply and will be supported as required in these actions via Rasa Corporation, their sole distributor of zircon, ilmenite and other titanium raw materials. With Iluka’s long history of producing mineral sands (Titanium and Zircon product) it’s great to witness a powerful and reliable supplier has emerged in the market for the rapid growing demands for EVs, wind power generators and other decarbonization and climate change mitigations under the serious concerns against the dominant situation of rare earths supply from China.

 

 The Iluka RE refinery is currently under the construction at Eneabba, which is expected to start its operation in 2026 with an initial annual production quantity of 4,000 metric tons, increasing to nameplate capacity of 5,500 metric tons in subsequent years.

 

 The Iluka rare earth project is being completed via partnership with the Australian Government, which has provided funding of A$1.25 Billion, via a non recourse loan through Export Finance Australia which is the Australian government funding department.

 

 Monazite and xenotime, the raw materials for these products, are mined together with zircon, ilmenite and other mineral sands, which are the main products of Iluka business, and they have a stockpile of approximately 1 million metric tons of such RE in concentrate form in Eneabba, one of their former mine sites in Western Australia. In addition Iluka has decades of additional mining resources and reserves that provides confidence in future supply.

 

 Mr. Owen Gray, General Manager of Market Development at Iluka, commented about the launch of RE sales in Japan, “We ae focusing on the growth potential of the Japanese market, including for EV application. Our RE raw materials are a co-product from mineral sands production. This means that mining risks can be reduced and carbon emissions are the lowest possible. We aim to expand sales while promoting these points."

 

 

IEA「Global Critical Minerals Outlook 2024」

 

 Japan is no exception, but the current supply of RE is outstandingly dependent to China. The figure on the right is an excerpt from “Global Critical Minerals Outlook 2024” published by the IEA in May, which indicate the current dominant situation of RE supply from China.

 

 In March 2023, JOGMEC, an independent administrative agency under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and Sojitz decided the additional investment of total A$200 million through their jointly established company Japan-Australia Rare Earths Limited established in 2011 into Lynas Rare Earths Limited in Australia. This was one of the movements to secure such resource interests to overcome the situation. Japan-Australia Rare Earths Limited has signed an agreement to secure up to 65% of dysprosium and terbium produced by Lynas from the Mount Weld mine in Australia (Western Australia) for supply to Japan by such additional investment. ILUKA's entry into the market will help to further diversify the procurement routes of rare earth in Japan.

 

 

(IRuniverse)

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