The Straits Times
Published on Sep 05, 2012

Miner Lynas gets Malaysia rare earths plant approval


KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Australian miner Lynas on Wednesday said it had secured a temporary operating licence for its delayed US$800 million (S$1 billion) rare earths facility in Malaysia and will begin production in October.

Receipt of the temporary licence will enable Lynas to commence the transport of rare earths concentrate and complete all necessary steps to prepare for first feed to kiln, which is expected in October, the firm said in a statement.

The plant in eastern Pahang state has been dogged by protests from environmentalists and residents over concerns of radiation for the past two years.

It has become a political issue in Prime Minister Najib Razak's home state ahead of elections that must be held by the middle of next year.