KUALA LUMPUR – November 7, 2019: Lynas Corporation has told rare-earth industry players that the company will abide by the operating condition imposed by Malaysia.
Its CEO Amanda Lacaze announced that commitment today against the backdrop of a request on Monday by the Australian government for Malaysia to drop those conditions.
Speaking at the Metal Events Ltd 16th International Rare-Earth Conference here, Lacaze pointed out that the relocation of Lynas’ Kuantan-based cracking and leaching facilities, which was considered as part of meeting those conditions, has always been part of the company’s five-year expansion plan.
“I just want to say that we remain committed to Malaysia. Malaysia is a great place to do business,” said Lacaze, whilst pointing out that Lynas has contributed RM2.6 billion in foreign direct investment to Malaysia since 2008.
Lynas, which had faced operational uncertainty in Malaysia due to a waste dispute, was given the greenlight by Malaysia to continue its operation in August following a scrutiny by a review committee in December last year.
Apart from the relocation of the facilities within four years, Lynas is required to identify the location and build a permanent disposal facility and cease all research and development activities concerning the possible use of its radioactive residue.
Under the expansion plan, the company – which is the largest rare-earth manufacturer outside of China – aims for a 50 per cent increment of its product output and the diversification of its businesses.
Rare-earth is an essential input to modern technologies and high growth industries. Key items which use rare-earth include magnets, catalytic convertors, batteries, electronics, polishing powders, modern military equipment and water treatment chemicals.
Due to its strategic importance, rare-earth has been one of the centerpieces 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.