Rare earths producer Lynas extends loan facility with Japanese backers
Stock MarketsJun 26, 2019 08:20PM ET
(Reuters) - Australia's Lynas Corp said on Thursday it signed a 10-year loan extension on easier terms with its long-time Japanese backers, increasing its commitment to supply rare earths to Japanese customers.
The extension will help Lynas, the only major producer of rare earths beyond China, follow through on its 2025 expansion plans with greater cash flows available from the improved terms.
Under the new agreement, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) and Sojitz Corp will reduce principal payments and the interest charged on the loan.
Japanese customers stand to benefit from the new agreement, with Lynas promising to prioritize them and supply up to 3,600 tonnes per year until 2025 and up to 7,200 tonnes a year until 2038.
Last week, the miner said it was stockpiling production of a major rare earth element for "strategic customers", at a time where markets are concerned that Beijing may use the minerals as a weapon in its trade war with the United States.