In a major breakthrough for Lynas Corporation, a temporary operating licence has been granted for its Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Malaysia. The country’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) issued the licence after months of delays and various independent reviews of the project, arising from community claims about the rare earths processing plant under construction near Kuantan in Pahang.
In June, the Malaysian authority set up to conduct public discussion about the Lynas plant, the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), recommended a licence be issued for the LAMP after talking with local residents, special interest groups and non-government organizations about their public health and environmental safety concerns.
The committee concluded Lynas has complied with Malaysian standards and laws, which are in line with international principles. This review echoed the findings of an earlier investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2011 which found the project was fully compliant with international standards.
Lynas’ executive chairman Nicholas Curtis says, “Receiving this licence from the AELB is a significant milestone. It provides additional validation of the safety of Lynas’ operations in Malaysia and supports the previous assessment by the world’s pre-eminent radiation safety authority that the LAMP is safe and fully compliant with international standards.
“I am eagerly anticipating the safe commencement of operations at the LAMP and being able to supply our customers with product.”
Lynas will now begin transporting rare earths concentrate and finalize preparation for the first kiln feed in October.
The AELB will continue to monitor the plant’s operations and adherence to safety standards. The company’s compliance will result in the temporary operating licence being transferred to a permanent one within the next two years.
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