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Lynas confirms talks with US rival MP Materials Corp

Australian rare earth miner Lynas (ASX:LYC) has confirmed media reports that it has had confidential discussions with US-based rival MP Materials Corp regarding a potential transaction.

Lynas confirmed the discussions in an early morning statement to the ASX on Monday but said the discussions are not ongoing.

Lynas has a market capitalization of about $US3.55 billion, while its New York-listed rival is valued at $US3.06 billion.

The talks and associated speculation come after a steep fall in rare earth prices, thanks to a slide in demand in China.

Lynas is the world’s largest producer of rare earths outside China.

“Lynas is implementing a strong organic growth plan. In addition, Lynas continues to seek opportunities to use our proven expertise to build scale, improve market functioning, and add value for shareholders,” the company said in Monday’s statement.

The media reports suggested Lynas started the talks with an idea for a cash and share offer.