KUANTAN: The full operating stage licence (FOSL) for Lynas Corporation's rare earth refinery here has been renewed for another three years until September 2019.
The mining company said in a statement that the renewal followed a rigorous review undertaken by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) and other independent regulatory bodies in Malaysia.
"We are delighted that our licence has been renewed reflecting four years of safe operations at the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP).
"Lynas now has four years of operational data which shows there has been no increase in background radiation levels 1km, 5km,10km or 20km from the plant. There has been no adverse impact on the nearby residents of Kuantan or the surrounding villages and all water discharges have been measured to be safe at all times for the community," said Lynas chief executive officer Amanda Lacaze in the statement.
She added that Lynas had continued to provide online real time operational readings directly to the authorities which were also accessible to the public via the websites of the AELB and the Department of Environment.
"Lynas is committed to continuing to be a valuable contributor to the local Kuantan and broader Malaysian communities and the renewal of the FOSL for an extended three year period is an essential foundation to that commitment," she said.
In response, anti-Lynas group Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas (SMSL) said Lynas had assumed that the community here was merely concerned with the issue of radiation.
"If AELB has agreed to renew LAMP's operating licence for another three years based on this point of submission, we wish to remind all members of the board that all the commitments and written undertakings by Lynas in regards to the management of the radioactive water leach purification wastes and identifying a location for the permanent disposal facility have yet to be fulfilled," SMSL said in a statement.
"In our memo to the board on Aug 25, we reminded all members of AELB that should it accede to the agreement to renew LAMP's FOSL, they should be mindful of the legacy they will be remembered by by the future generations of Malaysians for allowing profits to take precedent over people's well beings," it said.