KUALA LUMPUR – February 6, 2020: Pahang has confirmed giving Lynas Corporation the approval to build a permanent depository facility (PDF) at a remote area in Bukit Ketam, about 32 kilometres north of Kuantan.
In its statement issued last night, the state government pointed out that while it has agreed with Lynas’ proposal to store its water-leached-purification (WLP) residue there, it is the federal government which will make the final decision.
Lynas had in a filing to the Australian Stock Exchange last week stated that it will be paying a government-appointed concessionaire Gading Senggara Sdn. Bhd. US$98 million to manage the PDF.
Having the facility was one of three conditions set by the federal government last August 15 when it agreed to renew Lynas’ operating licence for another six months.
The rare-earth producer is also required to relocate the operations of its cracking and leaching (CL) facility out of the country within four years and to cease all research and development on a soil conditioner fashioned from its residues.
News on the facility in Bukit Ketam had renewed criticisms against Lynas, with Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh claiming that the site was ill-suited as it is near a water-catchment area.
Lynas, in a statement today, refuted Fuziah’s claim, pointing out that external experts have already confirmed that Bukit Ketam is not a water-catchment area, adding that the facility will not allow any pathway for the residue to reach any water supply.
“Lynas is committed to providing accurate and factual information to the people of Malaysia and to all of our stakeholders. We will not hesitate to take legal action against those who persist in defaming our people and our company.
“Four independent scientific reviews found that Lynas is low risk and compliant with relevant regulation. This includes a scientific review by the International Atomic Energy Agency which concluded in its 2014 report that ‘…the fears demonstrated by those who opposed the continuation of the operations did not find any support on scientific evidence’” said the statement.