PETALING JAYA: The Science, Technology and Environment Ministry has rejected the appeal of Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Lynas) to drop four conditions set by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB).
Minister Chang Lih Kang said after much consideration, the ministry had decided to reject the appeal on the four conditions.
"However, after taking into account the effects of the decision on the global rare earth supply chain, I have agreed to extend the operation of the cracking and leaching (C&L) facility until Dec 31.
"As such, beginning Jan 2024, Lynas must ensure the overseas C&L facility is in operation and is not allowed to import raw material which contains natural radioactive materials to Malaysia," said Chang in a statement on Monday (May 8).
This decision, he said, was made after taking into consideration the economic importance, protection of the environment and public health.
"According to Section 32(5) of the Atomic Energy Licensing Act, the decision by the minister is final," he said
Chang added that the Malaysian government understood the importance of the rare earth industry but was committed to ensuring any business which was linked to the industry did not give any negative effects to the environment and the residents in the area.
"The decision was taken after considering the careful analysis based on sustainability, development and safety.
"The ministry will continue to work with all interested parties to ensure the rare earth industry in Malaysia grows in a responsible way with standards set," added Chang.