Lynas risks M’sian business ending

By LYDIA NATHAN / Graphic By TMR

LYNAS Corp Ltd is facing the risk of not being able to continue its business in Malaysia, as a result of the company’s uncertainty in meeting the timeline set by the government to export the volume of its industrial waste currently stored in temporary storage facilities on-site in Kuantan, Pahang.

In a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange, the rare earth producer stated that the mandate set by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) to remove the waste — also known as water leached purification (WLP) residue — is “unachievable”.

In its first-half (1H) results released yesterday, the company said it will continue to engage with the Malaysian government to agree on a basis where Lynas will be able to renew its operating licence.

In December 2018, AELB issued a letter to Lynas, stating two new pre-conditions for the renewal of its licence.

The pre-conditions include the export of all its WLP residue before Sept 2, 2019, and the submission of an action plan on the disposal of the neutralisation underflow residue (NUF).

Lynas on Feb 14, 2019, said after extensive consultation with the local government and other stakeholders, a pathway for the disposal of NUF was materialised.

“An updated NUF action plan has been submitted, as required — which includes commercialisation options for NUF and a long-term NUF disposal solution,” the group said.

Meanwhile, following the announcement of its 1H results, its shares plunged nearly 7%.