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Malaysia Criticised for Extending Licence of Australian Rare Earths Firm, Lynas, Until March 2026


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Source: The Straits Times & Bloomberg

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Environmentalists criticised Malaysia on Wednesday for extending the operating license of an Australian mining firm, which allows it to import rare earth metals containing radioactive material until March 2026.

Rare earths are a crucial component used in products including mobile phones, hybrid cars and flat-screen televisions, but there are only a few producers outside of China.

Mageswari Sangaralingam of NGO Friends of the Earth Malaysia expressed shock at the government’s U-turn to allow Lynas Rare Earths to proceed with the cracking and leaching activity, which produces radioactive waste.

Lynas 1

“We are indeed outraged over the government’s reversal of the decision,” she told AFP on Wednesday.

“After 10 years with Lynas’ full commercial production, we have been landed with a massive environmental problem.”


Previously Lynas was only allowed to import and process lanthanide concentrate which contains radioactive material until January 2024.

But Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Chang Lih Kang announced Tuesday that the extension would also allow Lynas to process rare earths, on the condition the miner conducts “thorium extraction” to remove radioactive waste.

The Lynas site, located near the city of Kuantan in central Pahang state, began operations in 2012.

Lynas 2

The government said Lynas has produced over a million metric tons of radioactive waste since that year, which is being stored near the plant.

Chang also said Lynas must commit one percent of its gross revenue, up from 0.5 percent, to research and development including the removal of radioactive material from residues.

Amanda Lacaze, Lynas CEO and managing director, said Malaysia’s decision would provide a strong foundation to develop the local rare earths industry.

“As the leading producer of rare earths outside of China, Malaysia plays an important role in the global rare earths supply chain,” she said on Tuesday.



Also read: Activists & Farmers Treated Violently by Perak Govt Officers for Preventing Forced Eviction of Farmland

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Source: Bloomberg

Follow us on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest stories and updates daily.

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