US President Donald Trump has highlighted the geopolitical importance of Lynas Corp’s rare earth business after signing an executive order aimed at reducing America’s dependence on China for the precious minerals that are vital to the electronics and defence sector.
In 2019, the White House ordered the Defence Department to spur the production of rare-earth magnets amid concerns that China, which controls more than 80 per cent of the world’s rare earth supply, could restrict exports of the products amid heightened trade tensions.
President Trump’s order declares a national emergency in the US mining industry and directs government departments to use the Defense Production Act to accelerate the development of rare earth mines. President Trump used similar orders this year to boost the production of medical supplies for the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this year, the US Department of Defence selected Lynas for Phase 1 funding of its proposed rare earths processing operations in Texas.