Lynas Malaysia seeking judicial reviews on operating licence conditions

KUANTAN: Lynas Malaysia has filed two judicial review applications at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, seeking a review of its operating licence conditions.

Australian rare earth materials producer Lynas Rare Earths Ltd said its Malaysian subsidiary filed the applications against the conditions prohibiting the import and processing of lanthanide concentrate after Jan 1, 2024.

"Malaysia offers administrative and legal avenues for Lynas to seek review in respect of the licence conditions.

"These are subsequent legal proceedings to those announced on Feb 16 and 24.

"As announced on May 8, in response to those previous two domestic appeals, Lynas Malaysia's licence was amended so that the licence to import and process lanthanide concentrate is now valid until Jan 1, 2024 but otherwise the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry dismissed both of Lynas' domestic appeals under the Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984," said Lynas in a statement.

Lynas said the judicial review proceedings now commenced sought for a review of the Minister's decisions to dismiss both of Lynas' appeals.

"The licence conditions which limit operations at the Lynas Malaysia facility represent a significant variation from the conditions under which Lynas made the initial decision to invest in Malaysia.

"Further, the conditions do not follow the recommendations of the Malaysian government's 2018 executive review committee report on Lynas Malaysia's operations, the Atomic Energy Licensing Board's own audits of Lynas Malaysia's operations or any of the other three prior independent expert scientific reviews of Lynas Malaysia's operations," it said.

Lynas said it had made significant investments in its Malaysian facility and would seek review through legal processes in respect of the licence conditions that had been imposed by the ministry.

It added that this was to ensure that Lynas was treated fairly and equitably as a foreign direct Investor and as a significant employer and contributor to the Malaysian economy.

Cracking and leaching operations at Lynas Malaysia were supposed to cease after July 1 but in May, Minister Chang Lih Kang said a six-month extension was given after taking into consideration the global supply chain conditions for rare earth.

However, Lynas' appeals to drop four licence conditions related to cracking and leaching activities, the generation of water leach purification residues and the importation of lanthanide concentrates from Australia were rejected by the ministry.

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