Lynas Malaysia seeks review of licence renewal conditions

KUANTAN: Lynas Malaysia has filed an appeal for a review of the conditions maintained in its operating licence renewal.

Lynas Rare Earths Ltd said its wholly-owned Malaysian subsidiary had appealed to the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry.This was done under the Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984 for the purpose of seeking an administrative review of the decision of the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) in failing to consider Lynas’ application for the removal of the licence conditions prohibiting the import and processing of lanthanide concentrate after July 1, it said.

In announcing the renewal of Lynas Malaysia’s operating licence, Science and Technology Minister Chang Lih Kang said the company must obey the terms imposed since 2020 so that cracking and leaching activities that produce radioactive waste would be done in Australia.No cracking and leaching activities would be carried out at the Lynas plant in Gebeng here after July this year, said Chang.

“But other activities that do not involve the production of radioactive waste will be allowed to continue operating,” he added.

Previously, Lynas said it had applied to the regulator for the removal of those conditions as they represented a big variation from the conditions under which its last four operating licences were issued and under which Lynas made the initial decision to invest in Malaysia.Four conditions were imposed when Lynas Malaysia got its three-year operating licence in 2020. Among them was to begin developing a permanent disposal facility (PDF) within the first year from the date of the licence approval.

Lynas was also required to submit a work development plan for the construction of the PDF and report on its development status as determined by the AELB.

The company must ensure that a cracking and leaching plant outside Malaysia would operate before July 2023. After tha, Lynas could no longer import raw materials containing naturally occurring radioactive material into Malaysia.

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