Malaysia postpones Lynas rare earths mines licence

April 5, 2012 (Source: Reuters) — Malaysia's Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) has postponed granting a temporary rare earths mine operating licence to Australian miner Lynas Corp until the hearing of an appeal by residents to the government has been settled.

Lynas's rare earths plant in Kuantan on the east coast of Malaysia, under construction since 2010, is key to breaking major supplier China's hold on rare earths elements that are used in electronic devices such as Apple's iPhone.

"The atomic board will not issue the licence until the hearing has been settled," said AELB's director-general Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan when contacted by Reuters on Thursday.

Malaysia's AELB approved a two-year operating licence for Lynas in early February, on condition it submit a detailed plan for a permanent disposal facility for waste from the plant within 10 months.

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An appeal to Malaysia's Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry was filed after Malaysia's attorney general ruled that court action launched in February by residents in Kuantan seeking to force the government to review its decision to grant Lynas a temporary operating licence was not the correct avenue of appeal.

Malaysian residents and local politicians say they are worried that radioactive waste from the plant could contaminate the environment.

"We will meet the (Science, Technology and Innovation) minister on April 17 and give our submissions. The decision by the minister will be final and not subject to any court appeal," Tan Bun Teet, chairman of the Save Malaysia Stop Lynas group, told Reuters on Thursday.

  1. Always chatter.
    Darkness is more just before mornings first light.
    Shakes out the “weak hands”, and let’s the hedge funds to switch from “shorting” Lynas, to allow good entry point to “going long”.
    Last stop to load up on “bargain basement pricing” of the first mover in the ROW REE space.
    Kind regards,

  2. Could I add: Chinese “strategic metals” had a big day yesterday, and many are nearing all time highs. Why?
    Take a look at these Chinese stocks: 600111, 600259, 000970, 600549, 600366, 000795, 600058, 000630, 601600, 0358
    This month’s military activities are paramount.
    Shall Chinese “surrogate” North Korea shoot the long range ballistic missile?
    USA and their Asian military allies are prepared to use anti-missile defense shield, i.e.,
    “star wars” weapons to shoot the North Korean missile out of the sky?
    North Korea’s missile’s suspected course is over Japan, Okinawa, heading in the direction of the Pacific near the Philippines. The participants in the anti-missile defense shield are on high alert.
    By “long range” I mean capable distance wise of reaching continental USA cities. No one believes that the North Korean’s at this time are shooting for the USA, but not curtailing the capabilities and not “testing” the anti-missile defense shield also would perhaps be a silly idea?
    Wonder what would happen if a major “front page” incident like this would happen?
    Wonder which direction the non-Chinese REEs would head?
    This would certainly be bigger impact than the “so-called” “fishing boat incident” in 2010. (Of course as shown in subsequent Wikileaks articles leaked to the world by the UK Telegraph, NY Times had little to do with Chinese fishing boat straying into contested Chinese-Japanese waters, and more to do with the USA placement of the Japanese anti-missile defense system).
    Yes ROW REEs are getting more valuable, and why wouldn’t Chinese influence be exerted on Anti-Lynas sentiment within Malaysia.
    Sure all official government releases will deny any or all of the above, China, North Korea, Japan, USA, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, etc.
    Wonder if “Wikileaks” can substantiate further the “star wars” issues between China and ROW?
    Keep the faith. Someone shall survive, including Lynas.
    Kind regards,

  3. Why am I not surprised?
    Maybe there is a “Wizard” behind the Curtain.
    China,China,China has the whole World running over the hot coals.
    If it isn’t REE’s and Critical Materials it will be something else.
    Has the ROW paid any attention to their strategy on the accumulation of Gold?
    i.e They now allow their Zillions of citizens to buy/import physical gold
    and they are aggressively buying Gold Mines Globally.etc.,etc.,etc.
    All Gold mining production in China is bought by the Government…only the Government.
    Is it possible that China might use the REE leverage and go back channels and swap
    some of the “Fiat Currency Debt” that they hold for Physical Gold? Get the Debtor Nations
    to give up some of their Gold reserves. Has this happened in the USA on other issues and
    not been picked up by the Media??????
    My “Best Guess” is ten years from now that China will be the World’s biggest holder
    of Physical Gold,the Yuan will be on a Gold Standard and will bump the US Dollar out
    of its’ status as the Worlds Reserve Currency.
    How about this China strategy…ROW we will release some of our REE if you agree
    to a Gold Swap…We own your debt anyway and we will keep the swap confidential so as
    your leaders will not have “Egg on their Face”….Sounds like a Plan.

  4. Whoa, Dr Robert
    You are really starting to shake China’s Cage.
    You Kiwis better start investing in canned goods and ammunition. :)
    Have a good weekend

  5. Why this great deflection into conspiracy when, in fact, Lynas tragically mishandled LAMP protests. Instead of being more transparent and more humble in the presence of local concerns, instead of and an open dialogue with locals, Lynas tried to bully through their ridiculous viewing plan for pre-operating license application. When I read Lynas’s plan — highly technical application, available in English only, with a max 1 hour for each viewer, and a max 1 viewer at a time, during business hours, for 2 weeks — I knew they had generated enough ill-will to last a lifetime.
    Because of the volatile situation surrounding LAMP, the AELB solicited advice from similar atomic energy boards around the world. The advice was, Lynas should be more transparent. Lynas and the AELB ignored advice.

  6. So Tiptree is the LAMP as dangerous as the protestors suggest or do you accept the danger is as minimal as your table salt…I am sure you’ve seen the latest COO conference.
    What is are you a purveyor of fact or fear?

  7. Australia and New Zealand only separated by “the ditch” as we call it, the Tasman Sea.
    Sydney Morning News reports: North Korean long range ballistic missile heading our way?
    Oh, they are just “warming up” for the real direction: threat to the continental USA?
    Oh, the USA marines have come ashore at Darwin, Australia in preparation to extend the Chinese containment “star wars shield” or anti-missile defense shield along the south Chinese flank.
    “Canned goods” yes, Lamb and dried milk yes, bomb shelters maybe?
    Always felt “safe” here in an out of the way place?
    By the way, where are you now and where are you going in the next month?
    Kind regards to “Nevada George”.

  8. By the way, why can’t someone like Congressman Ron Paul go to Fort Knox and see if the USA gold is still there?
    Did the “Federal Reserve”, you know that private corporation that “prints or electronically creates” the Federal Reserve Notes Americans carry, take possession of the USA gold as “payment”?
    Is USA gold in the NYC Federal Reserve Bank?
    Or is USA gold heading offshore as you suggest?

  9. I respect your right to speak, assemble, and disagree in whatever way you choose. Do you respect my right to speak and disagree?
    Always good to see the “forest and the trees”, and not miss the forest while focusing on the tree?
    All some of us are saying, many issues some local, some international.
    No one here is an idiot. However, none of us can see all the “players” in this worldwide dramatic story.
    Mainland China is actively trying to stop a potentially game-changing non-Chinese owned REE competitor from competing with China: REE World Monopolist.
    What’s my proof? Do I need proof when simple common sense seems sufficient?
    Speaking of transparency: Please send me all the financial records of the anti-lynas protest, including bank statements of their leaders?
    Kind regards,

  10. I have been back in the USA for a couple of days(From Geneva & Dubai through Montreal)
    Domestic trips planned for the next few Month’s.
    Scheduled back in Geneva and Gothenburg in September.
    This is my Retirement Schedule…still traveling as long
    as my old bones hold out.
    I will start working on my Swedish Residency this year..long overdue
    as I started several years ago and did not complete it.

  11. Do not know how much of that Gold in the FED belongs to the USA…not much.
    European Countries,due to the instability in the Financial Markets,now want to
    repatriate their Gold. I hope the FED still has it or more bad news for the USA.
    Who knows what is in Fort Knox?????? That belongs to the USA.
    China wants to swap out their holdings in debased fiat currencies that are rapidly losing value for Gold.
    Venezuela just recently repatriated the Majority of its’ Gold stored around the World. One hundred and sixty tons…a Logistic/Security nightmare. However,
    all the transactions are now complete.
    Hang on to your Gold investments…ride out the upcoming pullback.

  12. I am not an expert on rare earth processing plants, and so I’d never make a claim as to the safety of Lynas’s LAMP.
    However, I am an expert in corporate transparency/compliance.
    What I wrote above is clearly about how Lynas has chosen to engage with the locals in Malaysia, and not about the safety of the plant itself.
    Continually, Lynas has revealed their belief that this is not a process, but a done deal that the locals need to accept. Lynas continually fails to hide its disdain for the “process.” (I get it, Nick Curtis is addressing investors with his assurances — but he acts as if Malaysians can’t hear/read.)
    Mostly, my comment was about the critical moment in this battle: the window for Malaysian citizens to review Lynas’s pre-operating license application.
    It’s my contention that Lynas’s attempt to severely limit the review has led to an irrevocable break with the local population — and the current delay in getting the TOL.
    Why do you think placing 1-person, 1-hour, 1-language limits during the review made sense with regards to Lynas’s attempt to successfully operate in Malaysia?
    How was it in Lynas’s/AELB’s interest to make it seem like the entire process was fake (from the limited [slightly revised] review to the lightning fast decision afterwards)?
    Lynas’s PR blunders will also ensure that when LAMP opens (I believe it will open), the ramp up to full capacity is going to be slow and tortured. The Malaysian inspectors are going to be making a show in order to prove that they were not bought.

  13. Did you see the “happiest countries in the world” news online this last week?
    Sweden and New Zealand both in the top 10.
    Of course us Noweigians were near the top; who says money can’t make you happy?
    China not so happy?
    Stay safe.

  14. You’re right, it is a fascinating world-spanning story of strategy and intrigue. I do not doubt the dark places the Chinese will go to succeed. In fact, when I think about rare earth space, I discount most of the noise and think, “What does China want?” And then I assume they have figured a number of paths (most of which I will never understand) to get there.
    But that doesn’t erase Lynas’s PR blunders. They make themselves look guilty. 99.99% of people could not spend an hour with application for LAMP and arrive at any useful conclusion regarding its safety (other than the who waste thing); however, a large percentage of people, when presented with the situation, and Lynas’s plans for public review, would think, “Hey, they’re hiding something!”). And that reveals a lack of common sense/empathy on the part of Lynas’s management.

  15. Still feel strategic metals, though a bumpy ride, are just as likely to weather the coming chaos.
    The mainland Chinese strategic metal companies including REEs are back near all time highs. Why?
    Bigger needs coming up in the future.
    Did you read RMB Graeme Irvine “Strategic metals” article this week: UK company mining tungsten, closed down since “Hitler days”, is reopening. Why?
    Tungsten certainly valuable strategic metal. You mentioned “ammunition”. What about missiles?
    Kind regards,

  16. And another thing Tiptree. How local are the locals? Would Lynas want The Chinese poring over their plans. The POL has been approved according to the AELB’s guidelines. They are the regulatory authority. To give access to the plans in English and for one hour seems a great concession. All is not as it seems here. e.g. I could be a proxy for Lynas. You could be one for Baotou!

  17. It seems a great concession to you. And when the review period ended with 1,100+ suggestions/queries, the locals naturally scoffed when the government proclaimed 4 days later, “All right, good to go.”
    Even if the government/Lynas was not going to consider any suggestions, the government/Lynas should’ve said, “It’s a great deal of material to get through. We appreciate every citizen who reviewed the application and every comment given to us. We are going to carefully review every suggestion. It’s going to take us awhile, because we want to do this properly.”
    Common sense.
    Note re cnospiracy and it being orchestrated by China: Australian citizens are similarly touchy re Lynas materials/waste. The mayor and citizens of Freemantle Port protested the paste from Mt Wled simply being transported through their town. And recently the Australian government refused to let the (table salt) waste back into Australia from Malaysia.
    Which is not to say Lynas isn’t right, and everyone isn’t overreacting. But that’s my point: I’m writing about the cost and strategy involved with doing business, not in the particulars of radioactive waste disposal.
    Nick Curtis and Lynas management are tone deaf.

  18. And how many of those 1100 responses were bona fide..or just copied..Have you seen the AELB analysis of those comments?

    Anyone with an interest in corporate transparency should read this…have it out in a serious court. Cant get much more transparent that by insisting that the truth be heard in spite of the protesting interests keeping their hands over their ears and chanting “la la la la”.
    The protests,puffed up negativity against Lynas,the misinformation presented by so many so far and wide,hidden corporations hedging against their investments in REE stocks with less but publicly inflated potential…they are all running out of wind. The time is soon.

  20. Per your link:
    ‘Lynas and its lawyers want an apology to be issued in “prominent lettering” in terms to be approved by them, in addition to a guarantee that the activists and NGOs refrain from publishing any further statements similar to the appeal to the prime minister last month.
    Aside from the apology in various websites, Lynas expects a national apology to be printed in a half page advertisement in a mainstream Malaysian newspaper, and the cost to be borne by SMSL and the NGOs themselves.’
    What are these (Lynas) guys smoking?

  21. The Lynas lawyers are 100% right. All of this stuff has been pure defamation. The entire Stop Lynas NGO campaign has no science to support itself. If they said “We just don’t want Lynas” that would be fine. But they have made numerous false scientific claims that are clear defamation. And without those false statements they never would have achieved any public support. Sueing the NGO’s is the right approach. You would realize this Veritas Bob, if you understood the science.

  22. The Norwegian Government sets an example for all to follow.
    They went from a Destitute Fishing Industry driven Economy
    to becoming Oil Rich.
    Rags to Riches.
    The Government did not throw away the money.
    They set up a Sovereign Wealth Fund that will benefit
    its’ Citizens for Decades in the Future.
    That is what Nation Building is all about.

  23. I understand the science. I also understand that the Lynas CEO is a sleazy scumbag who tried to self-deal Crown to Forge for his benefit at the expense of Lynas shareholders. Does Lynas really expect these published apologies – that was my point of what are they smoking.
    By the way, if the LAMP waste is so safe, why won’t Australia take it back?
    There’s no shortage of hypocrisy.

  24. Nota Bene
    Dubai did the same.
    They discovered Oil…but not in the same quantity as
    their Neighbors. Limited reserves.
    They took the Oil Money and with forward thinking
    Leadership built a Futuristic City in the Desert.
    They created a diversified Economic Base in the Middle East
    of Transporation and Logistics(Ocean & Air),Tourism,and other Industries.
    They have created Communities that are Industry Specific.
    Internet City…..for I.T. Companies
    Media City….for Global Media Companies
    Knowledge City…for Educational Instructions..Universities,etc.
    Air Cargo City…for International & Domestic Air Cargo and Logistics
    Dubai Port….Ocean Shipping
    Not to mention their favorable tax environment to attract new Business.
    What has the USA been doing…reading their newspaper clippings from the 1950
    era and talking BS.

  25. Agree.
    Life is good in Norway.
    Love those Scandinavian summers, land of the mid-night sun.
    Maybe living in the snow would be okay. Never visited my Norwegian cousins in winter. In the winter in the far north there is no sun rising and setting. The Norsk celebrate the full moon. Now Veritas Bob, ” Iwonder what they are smoking to be happy without the sun”?
    I guess just life. Whatever happens be happy? They face their share of troubles. Gas well in the North Sea is leaking noxious gas right now? They face long winters every year of their life. Yes they share in a socialistic way.

  26. So what’s so wrong with other countries? Thailand, the land of smiles, why aren’t they on the list of the happiest?
    China with their new found wealth. When I was in China, I was struck by the deep sense of sadness on people’s faces. Wanted to do a face pictorial. Why no hope of a better day for the Chinese masses?
    I could never be happy in China. No sun. No stars. Dreary grey from air pollution in every major Chinese eastern coastal city. Fear to touch anything outside their homes. Fearful of their government. Afraid to say how they feel and what they think ( all of that kind of stuff is done for them by a ruthless inner core within a deep secret place by a handful of rich dictators).
    Why such great Chinese oppression? Why no guns in the hands of ordinary folk?
    Chinese leaders run into problems when they try to force their dictatorial style on the free thinking free feeling free societies. Their ruthless inner core meets resistance. That’s new to them since emerging upon the world stage 40 years ago, from lost decades under Mao and Maoists.
    Personally, I agree with transparency. Wish there was full transparency and greater social sharing of the wealth in Malaysia. The problem as I see it is Malaysia stands to gain real wealth and with real wealth who is going to prosper? The few or the society as a whole. The Norway model? Or the Chinese model? The many? Or the few?
    Why isn’t there a win win in Malaysia? Should be. These are big potentially prosperous time within Malaysia. Why don’t I feel happy? No share the wealth by the government?
    No one should expect the “whipping boy”

  27. I do not think it has to be a China Conspiracy…just a strategic
    way of doing Business that works for them. China is not the only one
    that uses these tactics. China uses the “Ethnic Leverage” in the target
    Country….Students,Associations,etc…I am “all in” on Lynas and I will
    enter “The House of Pain” if LAMP gets stopped out. I have been gathering
    overt open source intelligence on China’s involvement with the LAMP
    opposition. I cannot find any indication of their involvement. However, I
    suspect that there is as it is their Modus Operandi when they want something.
    I was watching the MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association) to see which side they would be on…they are supporting Lynas.
    China wanted a Chunk of Lynas and Molycorp and originally did not get it.
    There are many paths that can take you to the same destination.
    Was the Moly/Neo deal one of them?
    If the LAMP goes down the toilet then what is plan B.
    A lot of money,contracts,time,etc. down the drain but Lynas is not down and out…losing vertical integration reduces the future of their revenue enhancement. However, They are a producing REE mine and have stockpiles
    available to ship. Will the Australian Government loosen its reigns and let
    Lynas ship to China??? WA has millions of dollars of Mining Royalties “at risk”
    so they should be a Political Ally.
    Will China get the Checkmate??…and Lynas investors see their expected
    legendary gains erased from their “Dream Sheet”??
    The plot thickens everyday…even if they get the TOL…what next???
    I am anxiously awaiting for an announcement on April 17th.

  28. If you are still asking “Why the waste should go back to Australia?”, you understand nothing. The likely result is there will be no waste! The Crown affair is so last year and off topic here, it suggests poor comprehension on your part. I’d love to contiue this, but I’m tired of this type of conversation. Its pointless and shallow. Go research and develop some content. Until then, try not to blog about things you do not understand. Thanks.

  29. Lessee now, the NK’s shoot off a rocket and the ROW responds by telling China to curb their dog. Insensed(mock) China responds that their original estimates for allowed exports was “incorrect”, and they will now “review” those quotas to achieve a more equitable balance between their domestic needs and those of the ROW (those who complained about the NK rocket) . Prices jump. China’s stockpiles and insitu REE’s double in value.

  30. Re: Crown: A leopard doesn’t readily change its spots. Curtis is a crook, plain and simple.
    Let’s leave aside whether the LAMP waste should have to leave Malaysia. Why isn’t Australia willing to take it? Apparently, because they’re hypocrites.
    You find all manners of faults and shortcomings with Great Western – and I agree with many of them. Yet with Lynas, and faced with a CEO who tried to steal from his own shareholders, you cannot see any but the most trivial shortcomings? You’re the one talking your book rather than seeing things as they are. You pervert and contort reality until it fits your vision of what you wish it were.

  31. What a great idea!
    What are lawsuits all about?
    What shall be revealed in the discovery process?
    How much shall a potential lawsuit cost? Millions? Both parties?
    Perfect way to pull back the “secrecy financial curtain” on the real backers of the Anti-Lynas activities?
    Wonder who shall be found “behind the secret curtain”? Who shall “pony up” millions for the anti-lynas defendents?
    Who really is guilty of “Interference with Lynas Business Relations”?
    What if illegal funding of the anti-legal forces and illegal monies funded to their leaders?
    What if international sources of monies are revealed in the discovery process.
    What if mainland China and their various well-known “surrogates” are revealed in discovery and open court?
    After the ‘DISCOVERY PROCESS”, shall there be a further WTO COMPLAINT against CHINA?
    Will the further legal action against the Chinese Dragon play well before the European based WTO Court?
    What a marvelous intervention, the Judicial system?
    Perhaps even “justice shall not be left outside the court room” this time?
    If the Malaysian judiciary shall fail with the whole world watching, certainly the WTO European based court shall not be slanted in favor of China?
    Would there be say, a 50 billion dollar claim against China awarded by the WTO in favor of Lynas? Or do you feel more is in order? Something called “PUNITIVE DAMAGES” so the Chinese Dragon “learns a lesson” on how to play fair in the international arena?
    Kind regards,

  32. What’s wrong with litigation with full discovery?
    Legal way to strip off the privacy curtain and see who is bank-rolling the anti Lynas folks?
    50:50 money the discover shall yield paydirt, and BANG
    Ultimate China bank-rolling shall send us all to the WTO.
    High stakes “INTERFERENCE WITH LYNAS BUSINESS RELATIONS” carried out internationally by the fire breathing Chinese Dragon, seeking to burn out the REE World competition?
    WTO lawsuit Lynas/AUSTRALIA/ROW v. China. Actual damages: 50 Billion AUD. how much PUNITIVE DAMAGES necessary to get China’s attention? 200 BILLION AUD?
    Fabulous opportunity.
    Life is really starting to get interesting!
    Kind regards,

  33. Gareth,
    If the wastes are reused or limed into road base they call them residues. Perhaps current separation facilities generate waste. Lets see if Lynas can achieve this goal before we assume they can’t.

  34. Veritas,
    I spoke out plenty while Crown was happening. And when I spoke against it I was strongly against while others said “who cares?”. Now I’ve put the Crown slides on SA and on Rare Earth Future to show it’s value. I did those things in 2011. You are welcome to doubt Curtis or anyone else. I own Lynas and I like Lynas. I don’t see that as a problem.

  35. You could not have provided a better example of how tone deaf (and delusional) Lynas is. If you tried to invent a more ridiculous response to protestors, you’d be hard-pressed.
    It’s almost as if they all sat in a room and brainstormed: “How can we rachet up the resentment and anger? How can we belittle their concerns and make sure they redouble their efforts?”

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