Lynas Edges Closer to Production
January 31, 2013 (Source: The Australian) — Lynas has one remaining legal challenge against its Malaysian rare-earths processing plant, but says it remains on track to produce first samples from the refinery next month, ahead of a production ramp-up.
Releasing its quarterly report yesterday, the company said it had cleared two of three requests for judicial review by a local activist group.
The final challenge, which was originally scheduled to be heard this month, had now been postponed to allow the court to deal with some “preliminary matters”.
Lynas said no new date had been set for this challenge. The Malaysian government signed off on a temporary operating licence for the plant in September, seven months after it first received the all-clear from the Atomic Energy Licensing Board, but community groups have fought to have it revoked.
Lynas managed to achieve first feed to kiln at the plant in Gebeng in Malaysia last month, after repeated legal challenges were dismissed.
The company said its first product samples from the Malaysian plant, which processes concentrate from Lynas’s West Australian mine, would be available this month.
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Executive chairman Nick Curtis said while the commissioning of the plant had not been “smooth sailing”, the company was working through the issues and was on track to deliver a commercial product in the second quarter of this year.
“We have a number of written agreements and continue to engage with potential customers who want us to show them a sample of the product so they can qualify it before committing to the purchase,” Mr Curtis said.
“We are comfortable that our product will come out in the way we have theoretically said it would. Then we will get on with growing the business and developing customer relationships.”
Lynas shares yesterday closed 3.03 per cent lower at 64c.
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