Lynas gets leave to challenge operating conditions

KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court here today granted leave to Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Lynas Malaysia) to initiate its two judicial review proceedings against the government over its operating license conditions that prohibit the import and processing of lanthanide concentrate after Jan 1, 2024.

The decisions were delivered by Justices Datuk Amarjeet Singh and Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh in two separate courts today, following no objection raised by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).

Senior federal counsel (SFC) Ahmad Hanir Hambaly and Shamsul Bolhassan appeared for AGC while Lynas was represented by Tan Sri Cecil Abraham.

During proceedings before Justice Wan Ahmad Farid, Abraham also mentioned that the Australian rare-earths mining company will file an application for both judicial reviews to be heard before Judge Wan Ahmad Farid.

With leave granted, the court would later fix a hearing date to hear oral submissions on the merits of the judicial review.

In July, Lynas Malaysia filed two separate judicial reviews, naming the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (MOSTI) and the Atomic Energy Licencing Board (AELB) as respondents.

Lynas, in a media statement, said the legal challenge was filed to quash the conditions barring the import and processing of lanthanide concentrate after Jan 1 next year.

On May 9, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Chang Lih Kang said the government is not shutting down Lynas’ operations, but the company will not be allowed to carry out ‘cracking and leaching’ (C&L) activities in the country after December 31.

He said the decision to extend the period of the factory to carry out C&L activities for another six months is to avoid affecting the supply chain of rare earth at the global level.

Previously, MOSTI also announced that Lynas’ appeal against dropping four licensing conditions set by the AELB was rejected after a hearing was held on April 28. – BERNAMA