Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Lynas moved its rare earths processing to Malaysia because of Malaysia’s less stringent laws

 ANAWA and EDO strongly believed that Lynas had chosen to move its operations to Malaysia because of the heavy metals and radioactive waste involved in the processing. “We believe Lynas picked Malaysia to save money and enable it to operate under less stringent laws,” 
“The biggest concerns about the processing are the storage and waste management issues which are made more difficult in Gebeng which we understand to be wetlands.”

“There is no way it could operate the way it is in Malaysia over here,” he said. “Australia’s laws are much more stringent.”

Aussie NGO: Gebeng not part of Lynas’ blueprint, Free Malaysia Today News, Stephanie Sta Maria | March 6, 2012  Anti Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia (ANAWA) claims that Lynas’ massive changes to its plan has resulted in its plant being built in Gebeng where laws are looser and labour is cheaper.  PETALING JAYA: The Anti-Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia (ANAWA) has revealed that Lynas Corporation Ltd was supposed to build its plant in Western Australia and not Malaysia.

According to ANAWA, Lynas’ 14-year-old blueprint indicated that the Australian mining giant had orginally planned to build its processing plant in Meenar a decade ago. But until today there had been no signs of any development on the intended site.
ANAWA spokesperson Marcus Atkinson told FMT that the orginal approvals were given by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for Lynas to ship rare earth to buyers and confirmed that he had viewed these relevant documents firsthand.

However, he said that Lynas had since made numerous alterations to its operations to the point that its rare earth refinery had now landed in Malaysia. “Instead of transporting processed rare earth, it is now shipping a concentrate which contains thorium and other radioactive material with more heavy metals,” he told FMT.
Atkinson admitted that they had been more focused on Lynas’ operations
in Australia until the uproar in Malaysia reached their ears and they
realised that Lynas’ had made “massive” changes to its plans.
“Now it involves Malaysia and our moral responsibility,” he said.
“This is a complete change to the original project hence why we are
urging the EPA to review Lynas’ approvals.”
ANAWA and Australia’s Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) lodged a
referral with the EPA this morning calling on the latter to reopen the
project and revisit Lynas’ “outdated” approvals.
Atkinson had yesterday raised deep concerns over the amount of
radioactive material being transported from Mount Weld to Fremantle
Port for export and called for stronger regulations to be put in place
to ease the fears of the surrounding community.
He had also drawn attention to the fact that Lynas had sparked off
Malaysia’s largest environmental campaign with its RM2.5 billion Lynas
Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Gebeng, Kuantan.
The nationwide Himpunan Hijau 2.0 rally held on March 26 saw more than
15,000 people gathering to demand that Lynas be ousted from Kuantan.
Less stringent laws
Atkinson added that ANAWA and EDO strongly believed that Lynas had chosen to move its operations to Malaysia because of the heavy metals and radioactive waste involved in the processing. “We believe Lynas picked Malaysia to save money and enable it to operate under less stringent laws,” he stated.
“The biggest concerns about the processing are the storage and waste management issues which are made more difficult in Gebeng which we understand to be wetlands.”
Asked if Lyns would be allowed to operate in the same manner and with the same liberty in Western Australia as in Gebeng, Atkinson firmly replied in the negative.
“There is no way it could operate the way it is in Malaysia over here,” he said. “Australia’s laws are much more stringent.”
Atkinson issued a further call for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to be scrutinised for downplaying the levels of
radioactivity soon to be produced by Lynas’ operations.
“Just because the radioactive elements fall below the IAEA’s levels it doesn’t mean that the products don’t contain any radioactivity,” he pointed out.
EDO and its lawyers would also be issuing a letter to Lynas today
urging it to stop any plans for the exportation of rare earth until
the EPA reached a decision following the referral submission.
The EPA was expected to revert to ANAWA and EDO within 28 days on
whether it would reopen the case or if Lynas’ current approvals were
good enough.
“If they refuse to review the project then we will file a court case
against it,” Atkinson promised.
Lynas’ letter of undertaking
Meanwhile in another development, International Trade and Industry
Minister Mustapa Mohamed said today that Lynas had given the
government a letter of undertaking to send its rare earth processing
residue abroad if it cannot find a suitable waste disposal site in
Malaysia…..

we have ordered Lynas to guarantee and plan the provision of a
permanent waste disposal facility far from human population as
recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency….
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2012/03/06/aussie-ngo-gebeng-not-part-of-lynas-blueprint/

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March 7, 2012 - Posted by | rare earths, uranium, Western Australia

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