KUANTAN: Lynas Malaysia is appealing against the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry’s decision to have the company remove its residue from the country.
The rare earth material producer said that this move was in line with the Atomic Energy Licensing Act in relation to the decision conveyed in a ministry’s press statement and in a letter from the Atomic Energy Licensing Board deputy director dated Dec 4, 2018.
The Act provides for anyone dissatisfied with the decision of the appropriate authority to give notice of appeal within 30 days after being notified of the decision.
“Our preferred course of action remains to resolve these issues through our ongoing discussions with the Malaysian government.
“However, the statute in Malaysia requires that an appeal must be filed within 30 days, otherwise we may lose some rights of appeal.
“The statute requires that this initial appeal is lodged with the minister,” Lynas chief executive officer Amanda Lacaze said in a statement.
She said that key issues in relation to the new condition included the availability of regulatory approvals, the proposed timetable for export of water leach purification (WLP) residue and the significant cost.
“We look forward to continued discussions with the Malaysian government to resolve these issues. The appeal has been filed to preserve our legal rights while those discussions are ongoing,” said Lacaze.
Following an executive review on Lynas’ operations in November last year, the ministry decided to impose a new condition that requires the export of WLP residue from Malaysia.
The new condition would be applied to Lynas Malaysia’s future licences or permission renewals.
This was in spite of the review committee’s recommendation for Lynas to immediately identify and build a permanent disposal facility for the WLP residue.
Lynas’ operating licence is due on Sept 2.
On another matter, Lynas said it was continuing to operate on a business-as-usual basis and production has recommenced following a temporary halt last month.