Lynas given six-month extension due to global rare earth supply chain considerations, says minister

KUALA LUMPUR: A six-month extension was granted to Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd after taking into consideration the global supply chain conditions for rare earth, says Chang Lih Kang.

The Science, Technology and Innovation Minister said on that note the government had decided to extend the rare earth company’s activity in Gebeng until the end of December 2023.

He, however, added that all information on the company’s appeal to the ministry to drop four licence conditions set by the Atomic Energy Licencing Board (AELB) was enshrined by confidentiality under Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984.

“Hence the matter cannot be disclosed,” he said during the Oral Question and Answer Time in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (June 7).

He was responding to a question by Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-Kota Melaka) on the basis of the appeal by Lynas in relation to the terms of its operations license and the ministry’s stance on the matter.

“We gave them a six-month extension because we were informed that the cracking and leaching (C&L) facility in Australia cannot be completed by July. Noting that we cannot let the global supply chain be disrupted, we gave them an extension of six months,” he said.

“The decision is final and cannot be changed,” he said.

He said although four ministers have taken office since 2020, the four licensing conditions imposed have remained unchanged.

“That's why I feel consistency is important when it involves foreign investors,” he said while adding that the conditions were imposed after taking into account several factors.

He said this in response to a supplementary question by Wan Fayshal Wan Ahmad Kamal (PN-Machang) on why the ministry was making it difficult for investors with such conditions.

In May, Chang said the company would not be allowed to carry out any more "cracking and leaching" (C&L) activities after Dec 31.

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