Lynas to provide more info to DOE after EIA rejection

KUANTAN: Lynas Rare Earths Ltd is in the process of providing more information to the Environment Department (DOE) following the rejection of the company’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) for its proposed permanent disposal facility (PDF) here.

In an update to the Australian Securities Exchange, the rare earth materials producer said it was working together with the relevant federal and Pahang state agencies to provide the information requested by DOE.

“Lynas submitted the EIA in its current form on Jan 26. The DOE’s client charter requires a decision on any EIA within 12 weeks from its submission.

“As part of its process of assessing the EIA, DOE has requested further information, ” Lynas said in a statement authorised by its company secretary Sarah Leonard.

Lynas explained that because the initial 12-week period had expired, DOE had stated on its website that the EIA was rejected.

“Once the information is provided, Lynas has been advised by DOE that the assessment of the EIA will resume, ” the Australian company said, adding that its plant in Pahang’s Gebeng Industrial Park continued to operate in accordance with the three-year operating licence issued by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB), the primary regulatory authority for the plant and the PDF project.

“An EIA study of the proposed site for the PDF is a requirement of the AELB licensing process, ” it added.

The company said further updates would be provided to the market as there were significant developments in the matter.

The status of the EIA, titled “Proposed Development Of A Dedicated Permanent Disposal Facility For The Water Leach Purification Residue At Bukit Ketam in Mukim Kuala Kuantan, Pahang”, had been listed as “Schedule 2 Rejected” on DOE’s website.

Following the revelation, Semambu assemblyman Lee Chean Chung said Lynas should announce its next course of action.

“Lynas must now explain its next course of action. Where will the waste be stored? When will Lynas submit its next plan?

“We are also asking DOE to set a deadline for Lynas to submit an alternative plan to ensure the safety of the public, ” Lee said at a press conference here yesterday.

Lee said a response he received from the Pahang DOE stated that Sungai Ara flows through the proposed project site towards Sungai Riau and onwards to Sungai Kuantan, which is the source for the Semambu water treatment plant.

“According to the response, the treatment plant involves 781,100 user accounts and the project risks affecting water quality during earthworks, construction and operating stages.

“The rejection of the EIA shows that the site is not suitable and unsafe, ” he added.

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