Processing of rare earths could continue subject to conditions.
After the Malaysian government prohibited Australian mining company Lynas from carrying out parts of its rare earths reprocessing operations on July 1 of this year, a possible compromise is now emerging. Chang Lih Kang, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, announced on the short message service Twitter that the government could consider continuing to operate the relevant plant. Lynas would have to take the slightly radioactive residues from the reprocessing process out of the country to do so, he said. The company had previously objected to the new requirements, Bloomberg (paywall) reported.
Reactions to the minister’s announcement have been mixed on Twitter. Some users defend the government’s tough stance against the Australian company, while others see it as direct support for the Chinese rare earth industry, which would benefit from the previously announced ban. Lynas is the most important rare earth producer outside of China and is increasingly positioning itself as an alternative supplier for these critical raw materials.