Lynas Corporation says it is pleased the High Court of Malaya has denied an application for a judicial review of the Malaysian Atomic Energy Licensing Board’s decision to approve a temporary operating licence to its Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP).  1

Lynas and the Malaysian government opposed the application, and the court ruled against the review as there is currently an appeal before the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology. It’s believed the appeal will be heard within the next few weeks.

Lynas says it is close to firing up the first phase of the plant but has warned that further delays could ‘seriously’ hurt the project with customers waiting for product. Malaysia’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation heard an appeal last week by protesters concerned over health and safety, and said that he would announce the results of his review ‘as soon as possible’.

Lynas executive chairman Nicholas Curtis says although the court had ruled in the company’s favour, the present controversy in Malaysia surrounding the project was undermining both the LAMP and Malaysia’s international investment reputation.

“This concerted political campaign, which is based on misinformation, is sabotaging the science-based, regulatory process established in Malaysia and confidence in that process.

“Since the project was first approved in 2007 the LAMP has been subjected to the highest degree of scrutiny and public comment. It has been reviewed and received approval from both the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Malaysian Atomic Energy Licensing board and every safety box has been ticked. So it is disappointing that the highest safety standards integrated into the plant to protect human and environmental safety are ignored by a few people.

“The LAMP is safe for everyone concerned and we look forward to the day when that will be recognized,” he says.

Nicholas Curtis says the continued attempts to link the LAMP to Bukit Merah are without foundation. He says the tin mine waste used as the feedstock at Bukit Merah had radiation levels 30 times higher than the LAMP feedstock from Mt Weld and its residue was 100 times the radiation levels of the LAMP by-product.

“Bukit Merah would not gain approval under either international or Malaysian regulatory standards today, in contrast to the LAMP which complies with both. It is disturbing that this baseless scare campaign has created unnecessary anxiety and fear in the community. However, we will continue to address that misinformation now, when we receive our TOL and when we commence operations at LAMP,” he said.

Lynas says construction of the plant is nearing completion, with systematic completion of test packs and pre-commissioning about one third complete.