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Edited Transcript of LYC.AX earnings conference call or presentation 24-Jan-20 10:59am GMT

Q2 2020 Lynas Corporation Ltd Earnings Call

Sydney, New South Wales Jan 30, 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Lynas Corporation Ltd earnings conference call or presentation Friday, January 24, 2020 at 10:59:00am GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Amanda M. Lacaze

Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director

* Gaudenz Sturzenegger

Lynas Corporation Limited - CFO

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Conference Call Participants

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* Catherine Mary Moises

Arafura Resources Limited - Non-Executive Director

* Daniel Morgan

UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - Director and Analyst

* Dylan Kelly

Ord Minnett Limited, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst

* Michael Evans;Acova Capital;Director

* Lauren Stutchbury;Cannings Strategic Communications;Senior Consultant

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. And welcome to the Lynas Corporation Quarterly Results Briefing. (Operator Instructions) Please be advised that today's conference is being recorded.

I will now hand the conference over to the Lynas Corporation. Thank you. Please go ahead.

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Lauren Stutchbury;Cannings Strategic Communications;Senior Consultant, [2]

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Good morning, and welcome to the Lynas Corporation investor briefing for the December quarter 2019. Today's briefing will be presented by Amanda Lacaze, CEO and Managing Director. Amanda is joined by Gaudenz Sturzenegger, Chief Financial Officer; and Andrew Arnold, General Counsel and Company Secretary.

I'll now hand over to Amanda to commence the briefing. Please go ahead, Amanda.

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Amanda M. Lacaze, Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director [3]

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Thanks, Lauren, and good morning, everyone. Happy New Year, and (foreign language). I'm delighted actually with our very new Chinese -- very early Chinese New Year this year because it means that Monday is a public holiday, not only in Australia for Australia Day, so happy Australia Day to all the Australians on the call, but it is also a public holiday in Malaysia. And the last time this happened, I ended up going to Japan, but this time, that is not the case. So a long weekend, I think, beckons for all of us.

So for us, I think from a couple of the little reports already put out, thank you, Dylan and Michael, for being so quick to act. In an operating sense, it was a relatively uneventful quarter. Certainly disappointing that we once again missed getting the approval from the Malaysian Department of Environment for the uplift and processing at our plant.

But on the positive side, there were a number of initiatives that we had put into place, primarily in the previous quarter or early this quarter, particularly with respect to management. I think last quarterly call, I talked a little bit about the issues with carbonate and crandallite in the ore that have come out from Mining Campaign 3 and the new circuit and new treatment protocols that have been implemented in that world have been very successful and have certainly contributed to improved efficiencies in Kuantan. And in Kuantan, certain actions that we have taken, for example, the addition of iron sulfate to the process in cracking, have also improved outcomes.

We've certainly managed to get significant uplifts in recoveries for quite extended periods of time, then, maybe not so good, cracking and leaching manager sometimes will look at me and he'll say, "So when are you going to have a go at me?" But generally speaking, recoveries are significantly enhanced from where we were looking at towards the end of last quarter and early into this quarter.

So as I said, operationally, fairly uneventful, pity we didn't get the uplift because we certainly could have easily pushed more through the plant. And in December, we actually had a very, very good month because, of course, we ran everything as hard as we could knowing that we would be running out.

The market continues to be very subdued. The market price continues to be very subdued, notwithstanding that there's excellent demand. Demand growth, particularly in the Japanese market, is strong and indeed, by far, the greatest proportion of the material that we sold in the quarter has gone into markets outside China, particularly into Japan. SEG and Li/CZ, as is highlighted in the report, saw good price realization. SEG very nicely is demand-driven change in price with the reduction in material coming out of China and the increasing demand as part of the electrification story.

But I guess we're even more proud of the improved pricing on lanthanum and cerium because this is as a result of the work that we have been doing, specifically on different grades, different qualities, which has seen us be able to deliver an improved average price, which is a very good sign for the future.

I know everybody loves to be focused on NdPr, but every kilo of NdPr that we produce is going to bring a kilo of lanthanum and 2 kilos of cerium with it. And finding homes for this: a, material, finding a home for it is incredibly important; b, every dollar that we get effectively falls to the bottom line because we really look at our costs on a cost per kilo of NdPr basis.

But, I guess, the most important things then really are the strategic matters that we have been dealing with rather than the operating matters, which, after 5 years of operations, I'm delighted to say, does not need a lot of intervention from anyone other than the hardworking operations team.

So as we look at Lynas 2025, we now have a substantial team working on Lynas 2025, planning, engineering and projects. And so this includes, in Western Australia, a team whose primary focus is certainly on managing the project, ensuring that we are crossing our Ts and dotting our Is, but with a great deal of focus there on dealing with government, dealing with approvals, ensuring that we've got all of the location decisions made properly.

And then we have our engineering and it will -- as time goes on, it will develop into our construction team as well who is doing the work on really what are we going to build, how is it going to work. And that team, for those of you who know many of our people, Grant McAuliffe, who was previously the Site Manager in Kuantan, is now leading that team full time, ably assisted by many of our Malaysian engineers. It is our Malaysian engineers who are doing the primary design and specification work, not only for the plant in Kalgoorlie but also for our proposed plant in Texas.

So during the time, during the last quarter, as we indicated, we would finalize site selection. You will recall we started with 3 to 5 sites that we were considering. We have announced the selection of a specific site in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

The Kalgoorlie-Boulder City Council could not be more welcoming and supportive in terms of assisting us through the various activities that we need to be certain that we can develop this site, but even -- but more so, even in terms of ensuring provision of appropriate utilities, most particularly things like water.

And I just would say this, Kalgoorlie has been excellent at -- of course, when you're out in that neck of the woods, you need to be conserving your water, you need to be recirculating and reusing it. And so we have an agreement with the Kalgoorlie-Boulder City Council to use reclaimed water in our process, which, once again, is a tick on sustainability principles.

We expect soon to release the tender for some of our longest lead time items, including the kiln. I think that that's an important milestone in terms of demonstrating progress on this, and we are very well progressed as I think all of you would know, concentrate into a rare earth's refining process is only about 20% of the input. So making the decision to shift this from Kuantan to Kalgoorlie actually means that we need to be doing a lot of work on things other than just can we engineer the plant and get the concentrate back to the front end. So there are various chemical reagents, power, water, then, of course, we have to consider things like transport. So we're very well progressed on really working out the right supply models for each of those different elements.

As we said, that was published quite extensively, the U.S. Government via the Department of Defense released a request for tender for the development of a heavy rare earth separation plant in the U.S. We lodged a compliant tender on the 21st of December, I think it was. And I know that there will be many who will want to know, well, so now what? But I think also, there will be many that know that governments move at the speed that governments move, not necessarily at the speeds that we would like them to move. So we will certainly update the market as we get feedback from the U.S. Government on that matter.

But at this stage, we have nothing more to add other than the fact that we have indeed released a compliant tender. We're very pleased with it. We've done the full engineering and design work on the heavy rare earth separation plant with our Head of Technical, Ding Jiawen, who has done this previously alongside, once again, our Malaysian engineers.

And then, I guess, just the other thing around the Lynas 2025 project, which is worth noting, is that we continue to engage very productively with a variety of governments. We've been sort of absolutely delighted with the level of support, as I said already, from the Kalgoorlie-Boulder City Council. But many of you would have noted that we released to the market, just before Christmas, the fact that we have been given lead agency status by the West Australian Government. Now what that means is that within the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Industry or Innovation, which is within the Premier's Department, we have a project manager, who assists us to ensure that we are working through all the appropriate approvals with contact with the appropriate people.

Many of you would have also noted that the Premier of Western Australia and the Mines Minister both released direct statements after we announced the Kalgoorlie site and with the announcement of JTSI of the lead agency status, both of them issued announcements that were overtly supportive for the development of the Lynas plant in Western Australia, of course, as part of not only the heavy rare earth development of our tender, but more generally speaking, we continue to be engaged with the U.S. Government.

The Australian Federal Government, for those who may have missed it, has actually set up an office for critical minerals. And the office for critical minerals is, once again, designed to ensure that those who are able to assist in ensuring secure supply chains outside of China are given, as appropriate, assistance from the government. And this really is around the fact that the rare earth market, as many of you who've been involved in it for a long time would know, cannot be -- natural market forces, cannot be relied upon. It is a distorted market. And so therefore, government support in one form or another may be necessary.

And finally, of course, I must acknowledge the continued support from the Japanese Government by way of JOGMEC and JARE, but also generally, by way of understanding, sort of -- and supporting us in diplomatic engagement.

So then that brings me, of course, to the least favorite of my daily activities, which is Malaysian regulatory matters. So I think everybody is very familiar with the fact that we have 6 months -- the license, which was renewed only for 6 months, is due for renewal on the 3rd of March. That there are 2 key conditions, one relating to the construction and management of a long-term storage facility for the WLP here in Pahang and the other relating to the transition of cracking and leaching processes from Kuantan to another location as already specified in the license. Of course, that other location is Kalgoorlie.

We're very progressed with all aspects related to this, with evidence of progress with delivering the 1 or 2 very specific pieces of evidence that the AELB has sought. The AELB has already completed its pre-license audit and, once again, rated Lynas as very satisfactory, which is indeed the highest-level rating that can be achieved.

I think the other thing in terms of the Malaysian regulatory environment and operating in Malaysia is that we have really redoubled, I guess, our efforts to ensure that we have really direct engagement with not only our local communities, but also important NGOs here in Malaysia. And in the report, we've included a list of some of those, which I think that you will recognize as being very important in terms of advocating for Lynas within Malaysia.

So all in all, uneventful operationally. That doesn't mean not busy because overwhelmingly busy, really in terms of executing on our Lynas 2025 growth plan as well as all of the work that is required to deliver to Malaysian regulatory requirements.

So with that, so we'll take a moment and take any questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) Your first question today comes from the line of Dylan Kelly from Ord Minnett.

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Dylan Kelly, Ord Minnett Limited, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [2]

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Just 2 questions for me that -- in general, group sales and CapEx. So the first one, just looking at the realized price, it looked pretty good. I just wanted to understand how much of that mix is attributable to, say, the price premiums that you're trying to target for, say, some of the low-value products like Li/CZ or the SEG uplift? Or conversely, how much of the realized price lift was more to do with the fact that you're selling perhaps low-value lanthanum and cerium?

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Amanda M. Lacaze, Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director [3]

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Oh, gosh. I cannot give you a number on that, Dylan. But yes, some of it is a volume mix effect. So our total sales of lanthanum and cerium were a smaller proportion of the total. So that gives you a higher average realized price.

But the price for NdPr was not stellar, as you know. Certainly, it's very stubbornly staying low right through this period coming up to license renewal at a minimum, but we think that there are probably some other things going on inside China as well. So SEG was very good price during the quarter. And the lanthanum and cerium prices, probably -- we're now probably, on average, getting well and truly towards sort of 10% above the market price. And I think that we've still got some headroom on that to bring that up further. But arithmetically, without actually having done this table myself, a lot of it really has to do with product mix.

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Dylan Kelly, Ord Minnett Limited, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [4]

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Okay, fair enough. So just moving into the concept of CapEx and what you've mentioned there in terms of the team and the size of the group that you're going to be spending on in the coming months and quarters ahead with long lead time items. Can you give us a sense as to what your -- what the outgoings are expected to be and your level of confidence around that, say, $500 million headline number in terms of an update or a revised number anytime in the future?

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Amanda M. Lacaze, Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director [5]

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Yes. I can't give you a detailed outlook on the CapEx quite yet, but would expect that we will be able to inform the market with a little bit more specificity within the next sort of couple of quarters. The -- we will start to see -- I mean, the reason why we flagged it is that, yes, we've already started to see some costs associated with operating the project team, and we will start to see some capital outflows commencing maybe even as early as this quarter because, although probably not, I mean, we're going to release tenders for some of these long lead time items, but if we select a successful tender, there generally will be deposit moneys which are available. So it's really just flagging that.

And given that we typically don't have a, really, for a business this size, high level of sustaining CapEx, I just wanted to flag that there will be sort of a slight uplift as far as that's concerned.

We expect the major capital spend to kick in, in 2021. This year is going to be primarily about design, approvals, and it is only because there are certain of those items, like there's elements of the kiln, for example, which again take, I think, nearly 2 years to be fabricated because, of course, a lot of this is -- has to be done specifically for us. So -- but we expect a major capital outflow to be in the 2021, 2022 calendar years. So we will, as we get more certainty on that, provide it through.

Now with respect to the capital -- total capital spend. One of the things that we're working through, and certainly have had sort of various discussions with governments and customers, is we need to make a call on whether we just do cracking and leaching in Kalgoorlie or whether we add solvent extraction upstream in Kalgoorlie.

Now if we do that, clearly, that changes the capital envelope. On the other hand, it also potentially changes the operating cost structure because it takes a step out of the process. So we would have to do certain things to the product that comes out of cracking and leaching to get it into a form to transport to Malaysia for feed into solvent extraction. So we're still working on that, and that may change sort of the shape of the capital. But in terms of the cracking specifically, we're firming that up and for our design as it stands at present, we're pretty confident that we can sit within envelope.

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Dylan Kelly, Ord Minnett Limited, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [6]

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Okay. So just digging into that point around do you or don't you go down another level in terms of the process stream to SX, I mean, what's the primary consideration behind that? Is that some -- is that possibly a function of the Department of Defense sort of outlook and tender requirements in terms of having material in country? What's ultimately going to drive the decision there?

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Amanda M. Lacaze, Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director [7]

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The first point is an operating point. So as you would know, because you've been up here and crawled all over the plant, we transfer material from cracking and leaching to upstream SX in a liquid form and relatively low concentration.

So if we took the material that comes out of cracking and leaching, there's a number of processing steps that would be involved in converting it to a solid form for shipment because no one is going to be happy if we're shipping a lot of water.

So it is primarily an operating decision on what is the most efficient point for us to have a transport stick. So that may mean that we are better off with the solvent extraction upstream in Kalgoorlie and then the solid conversion before we send that to Malaysia for downstream SX and product finishing.

On the other hand, it also meets -- so that's an operating sort of cost decision. There's a strategic construct. We talked right at the beginning in Lynas 2025 about the importance of diversifying our industrial footprint. And if we were to do this, it would indeed diversify our industrial footprint.

In terms of costs, certainly, we will have to make some investments in solvent extraction, whether it's here or whether it's in Australia.

And your final point is also right, Dylan, that we would be able to export SEG from the equivalent SX1 in Kalgoorlie directly to the U.S. for further processing.

So it's got quite a lot of positives associated with it and -- but it's not a simple decision. It is one where the engineers need to do quite a lot of work, and it brings with it a requirement for additional reagents in Kalgoorlie, which is probably sort of the most critical decision for us.

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Dylan Kelly, Ord Minnett Limited, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [8]

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Okay, fair enough. That's a very comprehensive answer there, Amanda. Just to tidy up on the next steps ahead.

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Amanda M. Lacaze, Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director [9]

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Because it brings me back to we've done the work, Dylan.

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Dylan Kelly, Ord Minnett Limited, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [10]

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We'll continue to dig if we can. So just around the next decision. So we're waiting on feedback from the existing tender process. Do you expect that there's other parts of the supply chain that the U.S. may announce in the coming weeks and months ahead in relation to -- with some of the other initiatives that it's undertaking?

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Amanda M. Lacaze, Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director [11]

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I have no idea. I'm sorry. I cannot even speculate on what might be in the minds of U.S. Government. I think where we see this, as we engage with various governments, when we speak to Japanese Government, particularly by JOGMEC, they know almost as much about the rare earth market as we do. And all other governments probably have come up the learning curve really quickly over the last 12 months, but there's still -- we're still not quite sure at what stage all of the others are at in their real understanding and their understanding of really what are the critical factors, where, as I said, when we speak to the Japanese, they know exactly where the pain points are.

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Operator [12]

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(Operator Instructions) And your next question comes from Daniel Morgan from UBS.

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Daniel Morgan, UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - Director and Analyst [13]

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Amanda, on the amount of concentrate that you're allowed to process in Malaysia, so in the past 12 months, you were constrained on that metric due to licensing restrictions. Just wondering when there might be an update on that or a change on that. Granted, your March license is obviously front of mind, but if you could just comment about that processing license renewal or uplift.

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Amanda M. Lacaze, Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director [14]

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So Daniel, you are right. We have a laser focus on the March renewal and given that the processing uplift does not affect our operations right now, we are -- we have members of the team preparing the additional documentation requested by the Department of Environment. We're confident that we can prepare the relevant information, but it certainly will not be until after we have been through the license renewal process.

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Daniel Morgan, UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - Director and Analyst [15]

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Right. And that brings me to my next question about how you're going to run the plant. I mean, you had throttled it back through the last half to comply, obviously, with that constraint. Just wondering how it's ramped up in the quarter to date. Has it ramped up well? And how will you be treating the run rates this year, i.e., will you try to go flat out in the first half in anticipation of a favorable outcome on this? Or will you be running at slightly lower rates during the year?

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Amanda M. Lacaze, Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director [16]

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Okay. So the answer to the first question, the plant's come up in really good shape in the first part of January. It won't be a 600-tonne month because there is also a 600-tonne run rate for the first 14 days, I'd say. But it ramped up very nicely during that time. But by the end of January, we expect that we will be pretty sustainably at that sort of level.

In terms of the decision on whether we run full speed for the whole year or whether we hold back, we actually haven't given that a lot of consideration right now because we think from our further discussions that given we get through the March license gate, the chances that we will be able to resolve any of the remaining issues with the DOE are pretty good.

On the one hand, I'm a pretty simple person. A tonne you don't make today is a tonne you might never make, and a tonne you don't sell today is a tonne you might never sell. So I tend to like to put things in the bank rather than have them out on the never, never. But having said that, if it does -- if our view does change and we think that there is a greater risk to achieving that approval and uplift, then we will reconsider.

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Daniel Morgan, UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - Director and Analyst [17]

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And the Lynas NEXT project, you've outlined that you've started spending money towards that, which is logical and you flagged that. More of an analyst question really, is that going to be expensed through the P&L or will you be capitalizing that as a project cost?

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Gaudenz Sturzenegger, Lynas Corporation Limited - CFO [18]

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Yes. Daniel, I think a fair point. We will, obviously, attempt to capitalize it and -- but just, I think, to indicate so far over the last half year, so we're talking really about very limited amounts; I think probably $0.5 million, not more. But I think that will become, obviously, more relevant going forward.

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Daniel Morgan, UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - Director and Analyst [19]

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And probably last question for now is just costs. How are you seeing the cost pressures in the business? I mean, definitely in the report today, your realized price was higher than I expected and, therefore, revenue. The cost was just slightly higher than I thought. Just wondering how these cost drivers are going. And what you expect for the next -- well, for the calendar year 2020?

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Amanda M. Lacaze, Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director [20]

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So supply likes to run at full speed without question, right? And when we run at full speed, we get a whole virtuous circle of recoveries and volumes and, therefore, improved costs.

So during the quarter, we had 2 months where we were at really maybe no more than 60% of full speed and 1 month where we were much closer to full speed. So we've got a very clear view actually of what that does to costs and bear in mind that you're looking at a cash cost here, which doesn't necessarily correlate to the actual costs, which you will see when we release the half yearly.

But we're -- I actually have to say I was very pleased with our costs in -- particularly in the months we were running at close to full speed, significant improvements, which I think are -- we can see a lot of those correlate directly back to Lynas NEXT, the work that we did in 2018. But the other thing is that we've also got a new -- an excellent new site -- plant manager in Kuantan, who is taking an operational look at things and coming out with some good ideas and some good initiatives to continue to improve.

So Gaudenz wants to say something as well. I guess, I would just caution that we're looking at a cash cost profile here, which is not necessarily reflective of the actual cost on a P&L basis.

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Gaudenz Sturzenegger, Lynas Corporation Limited - CFO [21]

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Yes. I think overall, what's probably important too and to mention with it, we did show pretty good progress on the cost side, particularly compared to a year ago, where it was a little bit neutralized. The improvement is on the FX side. I think particularly the Malaysia ringgit strengthened relative to the Australian dollar, and that has put in probably about USD 2 million additional cost, in U.S. dollar, not in Malaysia ringgit. So that might have a little bit upwards impact. But underlying, the activity is going in the right way and we see the results.

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Daniel Morgan, UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - Director and Analyst [22]

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Just the last question, sorry, if I may, before I let others have a go. The SEG was where you made some extra money than we might have expected in the period, and prices have increased for some of those products. Can you just talk to us simplistically about how you get paid for that product and remind us about that?

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Amanda M. Lacaze, Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director [23]

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We send an invoice, and they send us some cash.

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Daniel Morgan, UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - Director and Analyst [24]

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I mean, so there's published prices that we see on the constituent products and...

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Amanda M. Lacaze, Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director [25]

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No, sure. So what we do is that we characterize the material. So the -- and this is why we referenced the fact that we are -- as we've been in the Campaign 3, we're blending more into the Duncan zone and the ore body, which is -- which are in the heavy rare earth. And so that is now being blended in, and we will gradually increase the amount of heavy rare earths that we produce from our concentrate.

So we saw the first slight uplift in that. That translates into price because we sell the product on a -- what is actually in that product. So we analyze each batch and then we use that with a number of potential purchases, and we run a bidding process, an auction basically. And then we take the highest bidder, which typically is more than what you would see if you were looking at it just on a straight out -- if you were trying to calculate it from the published pricing.

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Operator [26]

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Your next question comes from the line of Cathy Moises.

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Catherine Mary Moises, Arafura Resources Limited - Non-Executive Director [27]

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Amanda, just a really quick one. When looking at potentially having increased refining in Australia, just wondering would there be likely to be a capacity expansion overall? Because as you're progressively, potentially moving more and more of the processing facility away from Malaysia, that would free up more of your Malaysian acreage to be able to devote to the final upgrade. Or are you going to be looking at maybe producing an Australian-only material and maybe having Malaysia as a toll trading hub? What sort of scenarios are we looking at? Or is it too early to say?

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Amanda M. Lacaze, Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director [28]

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It's probably a bit early, Cathy, but we're not stepping back from --we've talked about this quite a lot. The amount of IP that we have built here in Malaysia for the processing of rare earth is really significant. There is no other facility like our Lynas Malaysia operations in Kuantan anywhere in the world. And in terms of processing our raw material, it is really excellent.

So we are reluctant participants in the idea of shutting down any part of our Malaysian operations. And with sort of any development, our enthusiasm for investment in Malaysia remains pretty high because it's a great place. Other than some of the issues -- sort of the political issues that we've had, the rest is it's a low-cost environment with a skilled workforce, and it's close to our customers, and all of that works very well.

Certainly, our starting position on this was always that -- our aim was that we would continue to run our facility here and that our growth capital would be going on the ground in Australia. Now, if it turns out that, that becomes growth and replacement capital, that just gives us a slightly different financial picture from where we started this process.

But certainly, over the next 10 years, we need more production, right? We will need more investment. Where we put that, given that there is a great deal of enthusiasm from non-Malaysian governments for investment in rare earths and critical minerals, will simply be a function of what is going to make financial best sense.

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Operator [29]

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(Operator Instructions) And your next question comes from Michael Evans from Acova.

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Michael Evans;Acova Capital;Director, [30]

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Amanda, thanks very much for the update. You made a couple of comments in the quarterly regarding just the market, the Chinese light RE market is oversupplied with concentrate from the U.S. and Africa, et cetera. Can you expand on that in terms of maybe give us -- do you have an idea of the quantum that's coming from the U.S. and Africa maybe in concentrate tonnage terms? And I assume that U.S. concentrates would almost be 100% Mountain Pass, but where is it coming from in Africa? And is that sustainable? And what's the quantum?

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Amanda M. Lacaze, Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director [31]

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The big number is the product coming out of Mountain Pass, right? I don't have a number to hand right now for how many tonnes, but it's a big number. And they're churning out a lot of concentrate, and it's flooding into China. And yes, that is going in different hands. It's sort of creating some -- just a bit of instability in the market and from what had sort of started to settle into a slightly more orderly market. The African material is relatively low volume by comparison. It's the fact that for the Chinese market primarily. And the -- as I've said before, we have very little of our material going into the Chinese market these days and so -- but it affects the price.

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Michael Evans;Acova Capital;Director, [32]

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And are those imports, are they displacing, as far as you're aware, concentrate from China or other concentrate imports into China?

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Amanda M. Lacaze, Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director [33]

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There's not a lot of product coming into China really. So it is primarily about it's an oversupply at the market, which then pushes sort of price pressure downstream into particularly the magnet-producing area, and then that feeds back into upstream pressure as well. So a lot of downstream users are laughing all the way to the bank on the back of Chinese rare earth producers' lower margins. So we remain optimistic at some stage they'll work that out.

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Operator [34]

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(Operator Instructions)

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Amanda M. Lacaze, Lynas Corporation Limited - MD, CEO & Director [35]

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Okay. Well, looks like that's it. So thank you all. Much appreciated. 2020, I am approaching this year with a firm determination that it's going to be an excellent year. And there will be many occasions for drinking large quantities of expensive champagne along the way.

It really is -- there have been times when we've felt a little bit -- a little -- the likes of it being a little bit tough, the deltas a little bit of a tough hand. But really, as we get further along on our Lynas 2025 activities, I got to tell you, it's exciting and really very energizing to everybody in the business.

So look forward to talking to you all again at the half year, and thanks for joining us.

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Operator [36]

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Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude today's conference call. Thank you for all participating, you may now all disconnect.