Lynas to relocate to KL

UPDATE 2.40pm: Rare earths miner Lynas Corporation will relocate its head office from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur, closer to its Malaysian processing plant.

The move is part of a major restructure for Lynas, which operates the Mt Weld mine near Laverton.

Amanda Lacaze, who replaced Eric Noyrez as chief executive in June, said the changes would "streamline" operations and reduce costs.

A reduction in contractor positions, renegotiating supplier contracts and seeking improvements in procurement practices are also among the changes.

Ms Lacaze added demand for rare earth oxide products remains "buoyant" and the company has achieved production and sales increases during the June quarter.

She said Lynas is maintaining a heavy focus on the ramp up of production at its Malaysian plant after "bottlenecks" were encountered during the June quarter.

"These have been managed and each of the major stages of the phase one plant - cracking and leaching, solvent extraction and product finishing - has individually been operated at target capacity during the quarter," she said.

"We are now working on delivering the optimal balance of volume, finished product quality and REO yield - the volume of rare earths recovered through our process from mining to finished product. Higher quality output attracts premium pricing.

"Increasing the proportion of production that meets individual customer specifications maximises sales revenue and promotes customer loyalty.

"By addressing this and by seeking to minimise the amount of rare earth lost during processing of Mt Weld ore, we create better value for shareholders."

Rare earths are 17 chemically similar elements used in products from iPods to hybrid-electric cars and Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Mt Weld is one of the world's biggest known deposits in a market where China controls about 90 per cent of global supplies.

Lynas, which returned to capital markets in May in a $40 million raising to stave off liquidity concerns, has seen its share price tumble from a five-year high of $2.60 to 13 cents at the close today.

The company's June quarterly report will be released on July 31.

The West Australian

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