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Fluor awarded EPCM contract for rare-earths refinery in Australia

By Mary Page Bailey |

Fluor Corp. (Irving, Tex.) announced that its Mining & Metals business was awarded a contract to perform engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) for Iluka Resources Limited’s Eneabba project, a fully integrated rare earths refinery in Eneabba, Western Australia. Fluor will book the undisclosed reimbursable contract value in the second quarter of 2022.

Fluor will complete the front-end engineering design and execute the EPCM services to deliver the refinery. The completed refinery will produce both light and heavy rare earth oxides including neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium, which are essential to global electrification. It will have a feed capacity of approximately 55,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) to produce an estimated 17,500 m.t./yr of rare earth oxides and will be capable of processing rare earth feedstocks sourced from both Iluka’s portfolio and from a range of potential third party concentrate suppliers.

“Rare earths are critical minerals that provide key inputs to a broad range of technologies including the permanent magnets that are essential for electric vehicles and renewable energy infrastructure,” said Tony Morgan, president of Fluor’s Mining & Metals business. “When completed, the Eneabba project will add significant capacity to an evolving clean technologies ecosystem in Australia.

“The Eneabba rare earths refinery has the potential to become a strategic hub for the downstream processing of Australia’s rare earth resources. Fluor is pleased to be selected as a trusted partner to deliver this strategic project for Iluka. Fluor will build on its successful long-term project delivery experience in Australia and expand the company’s geographic footprint in the rare earths sector. Execution of this project will be a demonstration of our value chain offering in future-facing technologies.”

Fluor’s Perth, Australia office will lead the project. Construction of the refinery is scheduled to begin later this year with first production expected in 2025.

 

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