Latest Developments on Lynas’s Malaysian Rare Earth Processing Facility.

LYNASReaders of RareMetalBlog will be up-to-date on the developments of Lynas’ Malaysian rare earth processing facility. The quick summary is that earlier this month Lynas was granted approval of this facility by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) of Malaysia. The story was a nail-biter of sorts as analysts and reporters were expecting delays in this approval until after the Malaysian elections predicted to be held sometime in March or later in 2012. As you know, it has always been my view that Lynas would ultimately be granted the operating permit and that it was only a matter of time, nothing else.

Yesterday it was reported that Lynas had been served legal papers in relation to court proceedings brought forth by applicants – a group of individuals, living in the region where the plant is being built – seeking approval to apply for a review of the operating licence as well as a delay in the plant’s operational start-up pending the outcome of their request.

It is perhaps the lack of information in the public domain about this project that has contributed to these misunderstandings and unnecessary fears related to public health safety. Significant research backs this view. For instance, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released in June 2011 effectively quells several misconceptions about the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Malaysia:

  • Lynas’ rare earth plant is not unique — there are several other similar plants producing rare earths compounds in various parts of the world.
  • Many mineral concentrates processed in other countries with similar conditions are considerably more radioactive than those which Lynas will process.
  • No instances of non-compliance have been identified in international radiation safety standards.  
  • Malaysian regulations regarding radiation safety are sound and in conformity with IAEA Standards, in some cases are even more stringent.

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Tracy Weslosky

About Tracy Weslosky

Tracy Weslosky is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of InvestorIntel, a leading global investment intelligence source created for the innovative and entrepreneurial minded that represents over 50 publicly listed companies globally that are listed on Tracy is also the Founder & CEO for ProEdge Media Corp., an online publishing and media production company since 2001; and is the Managing Partner for 724 Capital Corp., a business consulting firm that currently represents U.S. Rare Earths, Inc. Previously she has owned a boutique Investment Banking firm for 7 years that was the basis for a business reality television series called, DealFlow. Aired around the world for 3 years on CNBC World, WealthTV and many other networks globally; Tracy is a speaker, writer and an entrepreneur.
  1. Lynas LAMP is golden.
    The lawsuit lumped the Malaysian governmental agencies and Lynas as co-defendants! Puts the Malaysian government and Lynas on the same side of the issue.
    This is a joke.
    Does anyone seriously feel that the Malaysian courts are going to rule against the pertinent Malaysian governmental agencies?
    Kind regards,

  2. Good observation, maybe that’s why LYNAS closed up more than 6% yesterday. I’m looking forward to this case coming to court so that we can get all of this nonsense behind us.

  3. It should be interesting to see how the Sunday anti-Lynas protest unfolds.
    I hope it does not get out of control and the news goes viral.
    The last I heard was that the protest organizers were passed over to the
    police and instructed that they had to get a permit for the rally.
    Their individual lawsuits against prominent Malaysians has ruffled some feathers
    and shaken some cages.

  4. I think there will not be a court case.
    Its possible there will be a hearing but thats about it
    It will get tossed out as frivolous and the protestors need to realise that as all the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed then costs may be awarded to Lynas and the Government. These millions of dollars in delay costs may just be the deterrent needed.

  5. Quote: It is perhaps the lack of information in the public domain about this project that has contributed to these misunderstandings and unnecessary fears related to public health safety. Significant research backs this view. For instance, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released in June 2011 effectively quells several misconceptions about the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Malaysia
    Ohh really? So maybe Lynas should just build this plant in your backyard instead then. Please don’t treat the Malaysian people as if we are undereducated, we do know about these reports. We just do not trust our imbecile government to monitor the plant effectively. If it’s soooo damn safe, why is not built at any other places in the world??

  6. I’d say go ahead and construct, as long as the safety standards are maintained.what am I saying? They are building in my backyard, along with my family, extended family and pretty much my whole kampung. Unless you actually live in Gebeng, pls don’t try to speak for us, God know we’ve had too many spokespersons trying to protect our interests.

  7. I wish they had built it in my backyard but the cost of construction and cost of operations for the plant are much lower in Malaysia. Lynas made a business decision based on economic considerations. I personally do not agree with the location. However, being built and anticipated to have no more radiological effect on the population around LAMP than the smoke alarms in their homes wouldn’t you agree that prudence dictates a trial run to establish precisely measured radiation values in and around the plant?
    I understand you do not trust your government but how is it that monitoring instruments cannot be trusted? The AELB Director, who appears to be an honest and capable man said “Under the programmes, radiation levels are monitored daily at seven reference points on location and 19 off-site — three each at a 1km, 5km, 15km and 20km radii from the plant and seven random points from the Kuantan port to the plant.” Who will review these readings? An independent assessor, the IAEA, the AELB, anyone who wishes because they are to be published, are they not? Why do you believe people who have no interest in Lynas will lie about the readings?
    I am invested in Lynas. I believe they present no hazard to Malaysia. If I am wrong, I’d rather lose my investment than endanger innocent people. I possess no special integrity; most investors feel the same way. Having come this far shall we not allow scientific measurement to establish what facts are present during temporary operation? Yes, sometimes people lie, but it is impossible to believe 26 monitoring instruments costing millions of dollars will not be accurate.
    If the LAMP is unsafe please present evidence to back up that claim or allow the 26 monitoring stations to present evidence so we can all make an informed decision regarding safety.Failure to do so rightfully calls into question both intellect and integrity. Strange if it didn’t.

  8. Despite appearance to you, perhaps not all the Lynas protestors agree that the AELB Director is an honest and capable man.
    While you may rather lose your investment than endanger innocent people, it is rather presumptuous to claim that most investors feel that same way.
    While I am not maintaining that the Lynas plant is not safe, can you not understand that some people don’t want to take the chance of trial operation subject to radiation monitoring, out of concern that they will be endangered during such operation? Monitoring may show exposure, and may be the basis for terminating operation, but will not undo the exposure which has occurred prior to termination.
    Given your wish that the LAMP had been built in your backyard, and the stated preference of you and most of your fellow Lynas investors to lose your investment rather than endangering innocent people, may I suggest you propose moving the LAMP to your backyard, and the Lynas investors can just eat the costs of moving and higher operating costs – perhaps do a rights issue to raise more funds if needed to do so.

  9. Anthropoy
    I think most people understand your concerns regarding Public Health Issues.
    However, these protests have a Political slant rather than factoids surrounding
    the LAMP process.
    You cannot compare Fukushima with LAMP…apple and oranges.
    Lamp will be under strict monitoring by the Malaysian Government “and” the
    watchdog groups.
    Technology regarding processing and containing of Nuclear,Chemical,and other pollutants is rapidly advancing.What happened in Malaysia in years past is
    not an issue now.
    I wish an REE miner would vertically integrate in the state of Nevada.
    It would diversify and improve our economy and attract High Tech Industries
    Preventing US companies from relocating to China.
    I believe the oppostion group is just going to say “NO” regardless of
    the facts presented to them.
    The rest of the World does not look at Malaysians as undereducated. However,
    they will probably not risk investing in your Country if LYNAS is stopped out.
    See the URL below(International Isotopes)…not related to LYNAS or LAMP but it does indicate what some forward thinking companies are doing to control/maintain Nuclear Waste and create added value products in the process.

  10. I believe Lynas decided to locate to Malaysia because it was close to southeast Asia, China, and India. Malaysia has plenty of water as well. Its irritating to me that Malaysia approved the LAMP project with tax incentives to boot, but now offers Lynas no support.

  11. A few things to keep in mind:
    The online Malaysian Press is very different from the mainstream (Television, newspapers and radio) Malaysian Press. If you’re outside of Malaysia and all you read was the online press you would get the impression that thing’s are much worse than they really are inside of the country. The online press is far more vocal and not accurate. For example, multiple examples from today’s online reporting for the demonstration in Malaysia on Sunday had wildly different numbers. One headline said 10,000 demonstrators another said 5,000, and another said 3,000. (The actual number was 3,000). I think that most of the online anti-Lynas stories coming out of Malaysia should be ignored.
    The other thing to keep in mind is that the Malaysian government lobbied for Lynas’s LAMP—they want it there, but they also need to deal with their local politics. Ultimately this will work out fine for Lynas investors, I think there’s more support inside of Malaysia than you think.

  12. I never liked politicians, even not in Malasia. It time to start producing rare earths, enough with them protests! I expect a little relief rally in the sector when Lynas finally gets the green light…

  13. Just wanted to clarify one point… Lynas already has the GREEN LIGHT.
    The Temporary Operating License (TOL) has been approved. The actual issuing of the TOL is up to LYNAS at this point. Lynas is delaying the actual receiving of the TOL until it has met particular items (completing construction and required payments to Malaysia) before they REQUEST that the TOL be issued.
    The items that are overhanging the stock from moving higher at this moment in time are:
    1 – Completion of LAMP
    2 – Testing of LAMP
    3 – Shipping of concentrate from Australia to LAMP (This will be an big issue because they need to get an additional import license and it’s bound to cause demonstrations — and volatility in the stock price — Unless the pending court case puts all these issue to rest before Lynas ships the concentrate).
    4 – Settling the current legal issues, which in my opinion have no basis and won’t be an issue going forward.
    When the TOL is REQUESTED by Lynas the 2 year probationary period begins. The TOL is NOT being held back by the Malaysians. I look at the lawsuits to stop LAMP as a good thing because the case against Lynas is weak and it will knock the wind out of the anti-Lynas sails when it’s ruled in favor of Lynas. Just my opinion.

  14. Clear statements such as those made by Najib (see RMB article titled ‘Najib: Science shows Gebeng plant harmless’) is the best tonic for those who create and perpetuate unwarranted fears. A little less hysteria and a little more veritas, Bob, gently administered, may be just what the doctor calls for in this situation.

  15. More Support for LYNAS: (From the Star Online – Malaysia’s most widely-read English-language daily)
    Four ministries were in discussion for a possible location to place waste materials from the Lynas Corporation rare earth plant in Gebeng, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said Monday. He said the discussion, which took place recently, would be a win-win solution to settle the issue in a constructive manner.
    Koh, however, did not release further details on the new move, which involved the ministries of science, technology and innovation; health; international trade and industry; and, natural resources and environment.
    He said, although the government had explained the benefits of the Lynas project to the people, some ‘interested parties’ had created issues which were politically-motivated.

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