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Lynas Rare Earths To Cease Operations In Malaysia, Except For Mixed Rare Earth Carbonate Processing Plant

Lynas Rare Earths To Cease Operations In Malaysia, Except For Mixed Rare Earth Carbonate Processing Plant

Lynas has applied for a stay to continue operations in Malaysia while awaiting administrative and legal appeals despite extending their operating license until Jan 2024.

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Lynas Rare Earths, an Australian rare earth materials producer, has announced that it will shut down all operations in Malaysia, except for its mixed rare earth carbonate processing plant, in the coming months.

The decision comes after a long-standing controversy over the company’s operations in Malaysia and concerns about radiation levels and environmental damage.

The Malaysian government renewed Lynas’ operating license in 2019 but imposed strict conditions on the company, requiring it to remove radioactive waste from the country.

Lynas has been unable to comply with these conditions, and its appeal to drop four license conditions set by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) was rejected earlier this year.

Reuters reported that the shutdown will begin in mid-November, and key personnel will be deployed to assist with processing rare earths in Kalgoorlie, Australia, before the shutdown.

The Lynas plant in Malaysia is located in the Gebeng Industrial Estate near Kuantan.

Impending Global Rare Earth Shortage and Price Hike

In April, Lynas announced that it had prepared for either a temporary shutdown or a period of very low production at its Malaysian operation if the licence conditions prohibiting the import and processing of lanthanide concentrate remained in place beyond 1 July.

However, on 8 May, Lynas’ appeal to drop four licence conditions set by the Atomic Energy Licencing Board (AELB) was rejected.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Chang Lih Kang stated that the appeal was turned down after an appeal hearing held on 28 April following AELB’s decision.

He also confirmed that he had agreed to extend the period for the plant’s C&L activities until 31 Dec, considering the impact of the decision on the global rare earth supply chain.

Lynas’ operations in Malaysia have been a significant source of rare earths for the global market, and the shutdown will undoubtedly impact the industry.

The company is one of the largest producers of rare earths outside of China, and its decision to cease operations in Malaysia will have far-reaching implications for the global rare earth supply chain.

There are concerns about the potential shortage of rare earths, and industry experts are predicting that prices for these materials will likely increase.

Meanwhile, Lynas stock fell by 2.7 percent to AUD6.24 (RM18.80) following the news, marking its lowest point since 3 May.

Malaysia’s Battle Against Lynas’ Rare Earth Processing Plant

Lynas’ decision to cease operations in Malaysia is a significant development in the ongoing debate over rare earth mining and its impact on the environment and public health.

Malaysians have been protesting against Lynas since 2012, with some claiming that the company’s operations have caused health problems and pollution in the surrounding areas.

The protests against Lynas’ operations in Malaysia have reminded many people of the devastating Asian Rare Earth disaster of the 1980s.

The disaster, which occurred in Bukit Merah, Malaysia, was caused by the improper disposal of radioactive waste from a rare earth processing facility.

The incident resulted in widespread contamination and health problems for the local community, and it remains one of the most significant environmental disasters in Malaysian history.

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