State-owned Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) and trading house Sojitz Corp. have invested an additional US$9 million in Lynas Rare Earths to support the Australian miner's Mt Weld project, reported Reuters.
Lynas, the world's largest producer of rare earths outside China, unveiled plans in August to invest A$500 million to expand capacity at the Western Australia-based mine to meet market demand.
"The stable long-term supply of rare earths is extremely important for the Japanese manufacturers, given the increasing demand for rare earths as a key material for magnets that are indispensable for environmentally friendly products such as motors for EVs and wind power generators," said JOGMEC and Sojitz.
In 2011, JOGMEC and Sojitz provided a total of $250 million in loans and equities to Lynas. In return, Sojitz became the exclusive distributor of Lynas products in the Japanese market.
The Mt Weld mine, near Laverton, has been in production since 2011. It is considered one of the world’s premier rare earths deposits.