Lynas may wait seven months for Malaysian rare earth licence

Posted on January 4, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

-Dow Jones Newswires-

AUSTRALIAN miner Lynas has applied for a temporary licence to operate a rare earth refinery in Malaysia, the Malaysian government said yesterday.

The company’s application will be forwarded to Malaysia’s Atomic Energy Licencing Board for consideration, according to a statement by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation on its website.

Lynas is building a rare earth refinery in the east Malaysian state of Pahang, where it intends to process rare earths extracted from its Mount Weld deposit in Australia. But the company is facing stiff opposition to the project from activists and politicians as the refinery will produce radioactive waste.

The application, if approved, would be a major step forward for the project following delays that came after a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency in July last year backed the project but recommended Lynas draft a detailed plan on how it would dispose of the waste.

The AELB will take up to seven months to review and process the application before making a decision, the board’s director-general, Abdul Aziz Adnan, told Dow Jones Newswires. Once it is approved, the licence would be valid for up to two years, he said.

However, Lynas won’t be allowed to operate the plant at full capacity with the temporary licence. “It will be a controlled situation all the way and production will be under close scrutiny,” Mr Abdul Aziz said.

The Australian miner hopes to become one of the world’s largest producers of rare earths – a group of 17 elements used in applications such as high performance magnets and light emitting diode phosphors, and in products including iPads and Prius cars – once the plant is completed.

Lynas wasn’t immediately available for comment. Lynas executive chairman Nick Curtis said November 30 the company was in the “final stages of the regulatory approvals process” for the licence and that it had submitted all the requested documentation.


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One Response to “Lynas may wait seven months for Malaysian rare earth licence”

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This is copied from Dow Jones Newswire and absolutely not true! Jan. 30th the EALB will make a decision and hands it over to the full Malaysian Government.

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