March 1, 2013 (Source: New Straits Times) Kuantan — The Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp) in Gebeng here is the largest and safest rare earth plant in the world, according to a rare earth expert.
United States government rare earth adviser Jack Lifton described Lamp as the most comprehensive rare earth plant on earth.
“No one has built a bigger rare earth plant than in Malaysia and Lynas’ procedures are all in place,” he said, adding that he was impressed with how Lamp was being managed.
On Lynas’ safety procedures, he said the tanks containing the rare earth were all placed above ground and there were equivalent catch basins underground to contain stray leakage.
“The external radiation is negligible,” he said on the sidelines of the international symposium on rare earth at Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) campus in Gambang, near here yesterday.
He said his conclusion was based on his visit to Lamp on Feb 27 to view Lynas’ first finished product, SEG carbonate.
Noting that it had only been running for 90 days, he said that as long as Lamp continued its maintenance of existing processes, then there was nothing to worry about.
“On Feb 27, Lamp produced 200kg of rare earth products. It has the potential to produce 20,000 tonnes of rare earth products a year and it will achieve this by end of June.
“Lynas investors can finally sleep peacefully after having invested RM2 billion and seeing everything working well.”
He added that plastics plants were more dangerous in terms of toxicity compared with Lamp.
On rare earth safety aspect issues raised by certain quarters, Lifton said the matter had nothing to do with the science or the government.
“When you ramp it (the industry), make money and provide jobs, pay taxes, all this (opposition) will go away and they will see the real and good sense behind it.”
Lifton, a senior Fellow of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, was one of four speakers at the seminar on “Regional Need for Rare Earth and Its Impact on the Malaysian Economy”.
Present was UMP vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Daing Nasir Ibrahim.