The chronology of Lynas events

If Lynas is able to meet all 3 conditions from AELB, the company is permitted to operate until 2023

by TMR/ pic by ARIF KARTONO

LYNAS Malaysia Sdn Bhd has been given another lease of life following the government’s decision to renew its operating licence for six months, subject to three conditions from the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB).

If Lynas is able to meet all the conditions, the company is permitted to operate for another four years, until 2023, in Malaysia.

The decision may not be accepted well by the project’s opponents, which had aired their concerns and grouses as early 2008.

Here is the timeline of the whole issue, so far:

2008

Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh raised her concern over the government’s approval to build the Lynas Advanced Material Plant in Gebeng. She urged for a detailed environmental impact analysis to be conducted.

2011

A campaign against Lynas, called “Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas” was launched, led by activist Wong Tack.

Fuziah accused Lynas for adopting a different standard in Australia than in Malaysia. Lynas Corp Ltd said it has been reviewed by the International Atomic Energy Agency and has implemented all the recommendations made by the agency. Japanese investors provided a US$225 million (RM942.75 million) loan to double Lynas’ plant capacity, after supplies from China came to a halt following a row over disputed islands between the second-and third-largest economies.

2012

On Sept 5, Lynas was awarded a temporary operating licence by AELB for a period of two years.

On Dec 9, the Court of Appeal dismissed an application by the “Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas” group against the issuance of a temporary operating licence to Lynas.

2013

The refining facility entered production.

2014

Lynas was issued a two-year full operating stage licence by the AELB.

2018

In September, the newly elected Pakatan Harapan government announced that it will review the rare-earth processing plant. Fuziah was named as the chairwoman for Lynas evaluation committee.

In response, Lynas Corp CEO Amanda Lacaze said the committee could not confirm whether Lynas would get a fair review.

In December, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said the management of Lynas should honour its commitment to remove its water leach purification residue from Malaysia.

2019

In March, Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said the government will allow Lynas to remain in the country to woo foreign direct investment.

Wong Tack, in response, said he rejected Lynas’ rareearth refinery in Gebeng based on environmental injustice and violations of Malaysia’s law.

In May, Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government will allow Lynas Corp to keep operating its rare-earth processing plant in Gebeng.

In August, the PM also said Lynas could keep the rare-earth processing waste from its Gebeng plant in Kuantan, if it builds and maintains a facility to dispose of its waste. — TMR