Minister signals Lynas can run Malaysia unit if waste taken back

Lynas’ C & L plant in Malaysia. Credit: Lynas Rare Earths Ltd.

Malaysia’s science minister suggested Lynas Rare Earths Ltd. could keep its unit in the Southeast Asian nation if the Australian company ships out the radioactive waste.

“If someone is willing to ship the ‘low risk radioactive waste’ (as claimed) out of our country, the government can consider retaining C & L plant in Gebeng,” minister Chang Lih Kang said in a tweet on Sunday, referring to Lynas’ cracking and leaching units of its facility in Kuantan.

Earlier this week, Lynas got its operating license for its Kuantan plant renewed for three years starting July 1, but failed to get approval to keep running a unit that Malaysian authorities say generates radiocative waste. “No party has the right to continuously produce radioactive waste in our homeland,” Chang told reporters on Wednesday.

The company’s operating license in Malaysia came with conditions that prohibited the import and processing of lanthanide concentrate after July 1 this year, meaning the miner will have to close the cracking and leaching units.

Lynas, the largest producer of rare earths outside China, said the Malaysian unit has appealed license conditions to the Minister of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

(By Kok Leong Chan)


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