Malaysia extends Aussie rare earth plant's permit, set rules

Posted on Thursday, August 15th, 2019 By The Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's government has extended Australian miner Lynas Corp.'s license to operate a rare earth refinery for six months with new rules to tackle radioactive waste, amid a renewed outcry over fears of health and environmental risks.

Lynas has been operating its Malaysian refinery, the first outside China in years producing minerals that are crucial to high-tech manufacturing, in central Pahang state since 2012 but it hasn't dealt with low-level radioactive waste accumulating at its plant.

The Atomic Energy Licensing Board says Lynas must move its cracking and leaching process, which produces the waste, out of Malaysia in four years.

It said Thursday that Lynas will also have to construct a permanent disposal facility for more than 580,000 tons of waste now stored in its refinery.

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