Rare-earth miner Lynas to build waste treatment plant in Malaysia

31 January 2020 (Last Updated January 31st, 2020 10:43)

Rare-earth mining firm Lynas has reached a deal with the Malaysian state of Pahang to build a waste treatment plant.

Rare-earth miner Lynas to build waste treatment plant in Malaysia
Rare earths are a group of 17 metals. Credit: Peggy Greb, US Department of Agriculture.

Rare-earth mining firm Lynas has reached a deal with the Malaysian state of Pahang to build a waste treatment plant.

This deal fulfils one of the several conditions imposed by the Malaysian Government last year to continue operations in the country.

A remote site in Bukit Ketam, Pahang, has been selected as the strategic location to construct the permanent disposal facility (PDF), which will be used for water leach purification (WLP).

The rare earths miner said that the location has been selected based on preliminary due diligence conducted by the company.

In August last year, Malaysia extended Lynas’ operating licence for the rare earths processing plant for six months.

The licence renewal was subject to various conditions, including the finalisation of a site for a permanent facility to stock its low-level radioactive waste.

The country had earlier stopped the licence renewal process of Lynas for the $800m plant due to concerns over waste disposal.

Lynas noted that it has appointed local contractor Gading Senggara to manage the project for $98m.

The company is considered to be one of the biggest rare earths producers outside China.

In June 2019, Lynas was reportedly allowed to continue operating a rare earths processing plant in Malaysia.

Last month, Lynas selected Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, as the strategic location to build a new cracking and leaching plant for rare earth minerals processing. The construction of this plant is a first step to make the town a critical minerals hub in Goldfields, Western Australia.