Lynas gets regulator nod for disposal facility in Malaysia

One of Lynas’ gas fired kilns at the Gebeng Industrial Estate in Malaysia, where the rare earth concentrate/acid mixture is “cracked” to become rare earth sulphate suitable for water leaching. (Image courtesy of Lynas).

Lynas Rare Earths said on Thursday it has got environmental approvals from Malaysian authorities to build a permanent disposal facility for water leached purification residue in the country.

The Australian rare earths miner said it has done detailed assessments for the proposed facility at Gebeng industrial estate.

The disposal of low-level radioactive waste from Lynas’ Malaysia plant has been a contentious issue, and identifying a location for the permanent disposal facility was part of the requirements set by the country’s government when it renewed the company’s licence to operate in Malaysia early last year.

Lynas, the world’s biggest rare earths miner outside China, in late August received an extension on a deadline due to the pandemic to satisfy licence conditions to build the permanent facility.

Australian rare earth miners have recorded strong gains this year on increasing popularity of electric vehicles amid a global push to reduce carbon emissions.

Lynas’ shares have more than doubled so far this year and are on track for their best year since 2017.

(By Sameer Manekar; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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