PUTRAJAYA – Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s (Lynas) appeal to drop four licence conditions set by the Atomic Energy Licencing Board (AELB) has been rejected, said Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) Minister Chang Lih Kang.
Chang in a statement today said after consideration, Lynas’ appeal was rejected after an appeal hearing session was held on April 28 following AELB’s decision.
However, he has agreed to extend the period for the plant’s cracking and leaching (C&L) activities until Dec 31 after taking into account the impact of the decision on the rare earth supply chain at the global level.
“As such, effective Jan 1, 2024, Lynas needs to ensure that its overseas C&L plants start operations as Lynas will no longer be allowed to import raw materials containing natural radioactive materials into Malaysia,” he said.
Earlier, AELB rejected Lynas’ application to drop four conditions related to water leach purification (WLP) residue management after July 2023, C&L activities at Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) and import of lanthanide concentrate from Australia.
With the decision, Lynas can no longer produce additional radioactive waste after July 2023.
Chang said the decision by the minister is final based on Section 32(5), Atomic Energy Licensing Act.
“This decision was made after taking into account economic interests, environmental protection and public health,” he said.
He said the Malaysia MADANI government understands the importance of the rare earth industry and is committed to ensuring that any business dealings related to the industry will not have a negative impact on the environment and the local population.
“Therefore, the decision was taken after careful evaluation, based on the principles of sustainable development and safety,” he said.
Chang said MOSTI would continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that the rare earth industry in Malaysia grows responsibly and complies with the regulations and standards set. – Bernama