Lynas shares jump on Malaysia review comments
MELBOURNE, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Shares in Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corp jumped 12 percent on Friday after Malaysia’s prime minister downplayed the roles of two Lynas critics in an environmental review of its processing plant in the country.
* Concerns that Malaysia’s newly elected government could close down Lynas’ six-year-old plant, the only processor outside of China of the rare earths used in industrial magnets, sent shares of the firm 27 percent lower last month.
* Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad emphasised on Friday that a committee reviewing the plant was not being directed solely by Chairman Fuziah Salleh and Wong Tack, both long time opponents of Lynas.
* “There are other members on the committee. They can give their opinions. It’s not as if they are being dictated by these two people,” he told reporters.
* Shares in Lynas closed 9.9 percent higher on the Australian bourse, having climbed more than 12 percent.
* A report in Malaysia’s The Star newspaper also presented more conciliatory comments from Fuziah on Friday.
* Fuziah said that her environmental audit committee acknowledged Lynas and its employees were important stakeholders in the review, which on behalf of Malaysia’s government, would be made transparent, in comments made more broadly earlier in the week.
* Fuziah had said earlier this week that the review would focus on the plant’s radioactive waste emissions.
($1 = 1.4154 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Additional reporting by Joseph Sipalan in Kuala Lumpur; Editing by Vyas Mohan and Subhranshu Sahu)