Business

Government renews Lynas licence for three years

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR — February 27, 2020: The Malaysian government has extended the operating licence of rare-earth producer Lynas Corporation for three years.

The renewal came after the government was satisfied that Lynas had met all of the conditions imposed last August.

In a filing to the Australian Stock Exhange today, the company thanked the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) for giving it the greenlight to continue its operations.

Lynas also listed four new conditions that it now needs to satisfy until March 2023.

The following are the new conditions set by the government following the renewal:

  • Lynas is to begin the process of developing the permanent disposal facility within the first year from the date of approval of the licence.
  • Must submit a work development plan for the construction of the PDF and report on its development status as determined by the AELB.
  • Must ensure that the cracking and leaching plant outside Malaysia is operational before July 2023. After that Lynas will no longer be allowed to import raw materials containing naturally occuring radioactive material into Malaysia.
  • Holding of the financial deposit will be maintained for compliance with the relevant licensing conditions.

“Over the past eight years we have demonstrated that our operations are safe and that we are an excellent foreign direct investor. We have created over 1,000 direct jobs, 90 per cent of which are skilled or semi-skilled, and we spend over RM600 million in the local economy each year,” said a Lynas statement.

Lynas faced operational uncertainty after May 2018 due to renewed criticisms of its waste disposal processes and it was only on August 15 last year that the government conditionally extended its operating licence to March 2 this year.

The then-conditions were:

  • To relocate its cracking and leaching operations outside of Malaysia within four years.
  • To cease all research and development projects over the possible recycling of Lynas’ residues as a soil conditioner.
  • To identify the location and submit the blueprint of the permanent depository facility of its residues.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.