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Malaysia court keeps Lynas operating licence on hold

Published on Oct 4, 2012 1:18 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - A Malaysian court kept on hold the licence granted to Lynas Corp Ltd's controversial rare earth plant by delaying until Oct 10 a decision on whether it will consider judicial reviews to permanently block production.

The Australian company said that the Kuantan High Court's decision leaves the temporary operating licence suspended until Oct 10, extending a one-week halt that expired on Thursday.

The rare earth plant - the biggest outside China - has been ready to fire up since early May, but the company has been embroiled in environmental and safety disputes with local residents since construction began two years ago.

The plant is considered important to breaking China's grip on the processing of rare earths, which are used in products ranging from smartphones to hybrid cars.

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