Lynas suggests building its permanent disposal factory on disused mines in Pahang

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 03 Aug 2019

PETALING JAYA: Lynas Malaysia has suggested using disused mines in Pahang as a site for building its permanent disposal factory (PDF).

"There are disused mines in Pahang that require rehabilitation and a PDF can be designed in such a way that it assists in the rehabilitation of this land, providing environmental benefits in a sustainable way," said Lynas Malaysia managing director Datuk Mashal Ahmad.

He was speaking in response to recent comments by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Dr Mahathir had said on Thursday (Aug 1) that Lynas has been directed to construct a PDF to treat the water leach purification residue that is created from rare earth processing at its facility in Gebeng, Kuantan.

In response, Mashal said that its water leach purification residue is already stored in PDF compliant facilities which have been approved by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB).

"Should the preference of the Malaysian government be a PDF, Lynas Malaysia's current residue management practices, research and international best practices can be applied to identify options to best utilise the material," Mashal said in a statement Saturday (Aug 3).

He adds that the firm is also conducting research into safe alternative uses for the water leach purification residue.

"Independent and peer-reviewed research over several years has demonstrated that water leach purification residue - an iron phosphate material with very low level radioactivity - can be safely reused in a soil conditioner product," he said.

Mashal also said that Lynas Malaysia has also deposited US$42.2mil (RM175.8mil) with the Federal Government to fund long-term residue management.

Lynas is still waiting for formal notification from the government regarding conditions for the renewal of its operating licence in Malaysia, which expires on Sept 2.

The rare earth materials producer said the Deputy Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (Mestecc) Minister had, in a statement on July 9, said that the Cabinet would make a decision in mid-August.
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