KUALA LUMPUR — November 4, 2019: The government has taken another positive step in the billion dollar rare-earth industry with Majlis Amanah Rakyat or Mara today inking a collaboration with Lynas Corporation.
The tie-up between the world’s only major rare-earth manufacturer outside China and Mara’s investment arm, Mara Corporation, centres mainly on human capital, downstream diversification and the commercialisation of Lynas’ non-hazardous residue.
The signing of a memorandum of understanding here today was done by Lynas Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. managing director Datuk Mashal Ahmad and Mara Corporation chairman Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi.
“Our products are sent all over the world, to various high-tech companies, big giants who have the technology. So the question is, since we are here it is only logical that you be next door,” said Mashal.
“And when you are next door, you bring in the money, you create the workforce and you bring in the technology. Malaysia needs the technology. As a business entity it is only logical that you be placed closed to where to source is,” he added.
At the event, Lynas CEO Amanda Lacaze said the partnership was in line with Lynas’ expansion plan till the year 2025, in which the company aims for a 50 per cent increment of product output and the diversification of its businesses.
“Lynas is delighted to be partnering with Mara Corporation on this exciting initiative. Mara Corporation is a strong and important local partner as we grow our global business from Malaysia.
“We have always strived to be an excellent foreign direct investor in Malaysia. This joint project is another way that we can facilitate economic development and jobs for Malaysians,” said Lacaze.
The company’s share price has increased from USD$2.47 on October 30 to today’s opening of USD$2.54.
Lynas, which faced operational uncertainty in Malaysia due to a waste dispute, was given the greenlight by the government to continue its operation in August following a thorough scrutiny by a review committee in December last year.
Akhramsyah said that Malaysia is fortunate to have Lynas operating in the country and that it was time for the government to develop opportunities that are in accordance with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.
“We have followed the impressive progress of Lynas Malaysia as it has grown to become a major global player in the rare-earth industry with a strong core of Malay technical professionals driving its progress.
“Creating economic opportunities in Malaysia, especially for the Malay and Bumiputera population is at the heart of Mara Corporation business,” said Akhramsyah.
Rare-earths are essential inputs to modern technologies and high growth industries. Key items which use rare-earths include magnets, catalytic convertors, batteries, electronics, polishing powders, modern military equipment and water treatment chemicals.
Due to its strategic importance, rare-earths have been one of the centerpiece of the United States trade war with China, where the latter had threatened to cut global supply if the former continues to impose tariffs onto it.