Lynas Rare Earths has ramped up production to achieve record quarterly sales revenue of $327.7 million.

The company said the stellar result for the three months to the end of March – $125m higher than the same time a year earlier – came amid ongoing disruption from COVID-19 as operations in Australia and Malaysia increased production to meet demand. Sales receipts were also up $11m to $262m. Lynas said a global rush for rare earths, particularly in the neodymium magnets market, drove strong demand for its neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) product and its heavy rare earths compound.

“The market price for NdPr continued to strengthen during the March quarter and our customers continue to advise that demand for rare earths remains strong, particularly in automotive industry,” chief executive Amanda Lacaze said.

“We are focused on developing initiatives to increase supply to support continued market growth.”

Lynas is building a cracking and leaching plant at Kalgoorlie-Boulder that will process concentrate from its Mt Weld mine near Laverton but its existing Malaysian plant will continue to handle refining.

The company said all necessary approvals for the Kalgoorlie-Boulder project had now been received and construction was under way.

It said it also remained “closely engaged” with a number of governments as they focus on securing diversified and resilient critical mineral supply chains.