Rare earths refinery allowed to continue full-scale operations until 2024.
Australian mining company Lynas has been given more time to bring its rare earths refinery in Malaysia into compliance with environmental regulations there. These stipulate that certain processing operations may no longer take place in the Southeast Asian country, as they produce slightly radioactive residues. Originally, these processes were banned from July this year, but now the deadline has been extended to January 2024, The Straits Times reported Sunday.
Lynas is currently pushing ahead with the construction of a processing plant in Australia but had referred to uncertainties regarding the date for the start of operations at Kalgoorlie when it presented its quarterly figures in April. The group had therefore prepared for various scenarios until full production could be resumed. According to Bloomberg (paywall), the operations that will be banned in Malaysia from 2024 will take place in Kalgoorlie, with subsequent processing then taking place again at the existing refinery.
In an initial reaction to the government’s decision to extend the deadline, Lynas announced (PDF) that it would seek a legal review of the requirements that will apply from 2024. It said they were not in line with the framework that applied when the company decided to invest in Malaysia.
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