Lynas says former bauxite pits within 1km of its plant in Gebeng


A photo provided by Lynas Malaysia showing a disused bauxite mining pit near its rare earth refinery in Gebeng, Kuantan.

A photo provided by Lynas Malaysia showing a disused bauxite mining pit near its rare earth refinery in Gebeng, Kuantan.

KUANTAN: Lynas Malaysia has clarified that previously used bauxite mining pits are located very close to its rare earth refinery here.

Its radiation safety, regulations and compliance general manager Dr Ismail Bahari said it was wrong to state that bauxite mines and stockpiles were "far from the Lynas plant".

"In fact, two previously used bauxite mining pits are located within 1km of the Lynas Malaysia plant in Gebeng," Dr Ismail said in a statement.

He was responding to an article published on an online news portal Thursday (April 4), in which critics called into question Lynas' claim of bauxite polluting groundwater.

Lynas Malaysia had previously stated that the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry's review committee did not suggest that any increase in the concentration of heavy metals in groundwater was due to the plant's operations.

The company emphasised that the review committee instead recommended further research on groundwater in the Gebeng industrial area.

Lynas Malaysia said it was collaborating with accredited laboratories to carry out its own independent investigation to rule out any contribution from its operations.

On another matter, Dr Ismail said Lynas Malaysia has welcomed over 17,000 visitors to its plant since it commenced operation in 2012.

"We continue to hope that all members of the parliamentary caucus committee will accept our invitation to visit our plant or meet with management to ensure they have accurate information about our operations.

"Lynas Malaysia reiterates that all assessments of our operations should be based on scientific facts and evidence from qualified experts, not unsupported assertions by unqualified people," he said.

Lynas Malaysia , bauxite mining , Gebeng