Australian news, and some related international items

Lynas contemplates importing radioactive trash into Australia

Brokers remain optimistic on Lynas despite Malaysian setbacks, SMH, By Colin Kruger, 6 December 2018  Analysts remain optimistic about the future of ASX-listed rare earths miner Lynas Corp, suggesting there may be ways around the onerous conditions put on the renewal of its operating licence in Malaysia.

The stock dived as much as 26 per cent on Wednesday after the Malaysian government set the conditions, which include the removal of all 451,000 tonnes of radioactive residue produced by its $1 billion rare earths processing plant since it started operating in 2012.
The Malaysian operating licence, which allows Lynas to process the rare earths there from ore mined in Western Australia, is up for renewal next September.

Despite this, UBS has valued Lynas on a “business-as-usual basis” on the grounds that the problems are not insurmountable.

There may be grounds for appeal. The ministry is planning to implement a much stricter regime than the independent expert panel was recommending,” UBS analyst Daniel Morgan said in a research note. ….

According to UBS, Lynas may be able to economically ship the radioactive waste to another country – possibly Australia. And in a worst-case scenario, it could sell its concentrate product to China for processing while it restructured its processing.

One option is for Lynas to split out the processing stage that produces the residues that have caused problems in Malaysia.

“Lynas may be able to invest in a cracking and leaching facility in Australia, keeping the [waste] in the country.” Lynas would then ship the concentrate to Malaysia for the final stage of extraction using its existing facilities.

CLSA was also optimistic, saying the low-level radioactivity meant the waste could be shipped in regular shipping containers. And Lynas had access to rehabilitation funds to help pay the bill……..

Outside China, Lynas is the only processor of rare earths, which are crucial for elements of the new economy like mobile phone components, electric cars and batteries.

The miner’s shares shares nearly halved in value in May when Mahathir Mohamad unexpectedly defeated his former ruling party and then announced a review of the Lynas operation as promised……..

Lynas earlier this month flagged a temporary shutdown of its Malaysian processing plant, which could cost the company $16 million in lost revenue, if it doesn’t win local government approvals to lift production caps.  safe…….


December 7, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics international, rare earths

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