Malaysia Sets New Rules for Rare Earth Plant

Source:

"Malaysia's government has imposed two new conditions on a rare earth refinery set up by Australian miner Lynas to assuage public fears of radioactive pollution."

Associated Press, Eileen Ng

Malaysia's government has imposed two new conditions on a rare earth refinery set up by Australian miner Lynas Corp. to assuage public fears of radioactive pollution.

Tan Bun Teet, who heads the "Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas" coalition, said Friday the group received a letter from the science ministry rejecting its appeal to revoke a license granted to Lynas earlier this year. The letter cited a lack of scientific and technical justification.

Rare earths are 17 minerals used in the manufacture of hybrid cars, weapons, flat-screen TVs, mobile phones, mercury-vapor lights and camera lenses. China has about a third of the world's rare earth reserves but supplies about 90% of what is consumed. It has placed restrictions on exports, sparking causing among manufacturers from Japan to the U.S.

The Malaysian government held a public hearing to review its decision amid protests by residents and civil groups over alleged health and environmental risks posed by potential leaks of radioactive waste. Controversy over the project poses a headache to the government with general elections expected this year.

Tan said the ministry instead told Lynas to submit a plan to immobilize radioactive elements in its waste, and an emergency response plan on dust control. . .View Full Article

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