Lynas Corporation – Vying for a License to Operate Amid Financial Crisis and Local Opposition

MEDIA RELEASE
Stop Lynas Inc
Thursday 28 August 2014

Today Australian-based organisation Stop Lynas Inc. released a paper criticising Australian rare earth miner Lynas Corporation for not sufficiently addressing its obligations to operate with a social licence in Malaysia.

Natalie Lowrey, spokesperson for Australia-based Stop Lynas Inc said, “Lynas states on its website that ‘it is engaged in a large public consultation program involving local residents, community leaders, villagers and their families’, this is simply not true.”

“Malaysians first learnt from a New York Times article in March 2011 that the world’s largest rare earth processing plant was under construction in an industrial estate very close to the Kuantan Port, several kilometres from the South China Sea. The plant was constructed quietly since 2008 with no community consultation – community is firmly opposed to the rare earths project.”

Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd, subsidiary of Lynas Corp, was awarded a Temporary Operating License (TOL) in September 2012 for its operations at the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Kuantan, Malaysia. With the deadline of the 2-year TOL approaching, the company is again under scrutiny with community across Malaysia calling for the plant to be shut down.

Local Kuantan resident Seet Ping, a mother of two, said, “Thousands of Malaysians have mobilised against Lynas over the past three years. We have collected 1.2 million physical signatures within 36 days in a petition calling for the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant to be shut down and this June over 1000 people protested outside the LAMP. 16 of the peaceful protestors were unlawfully arrested, 15 of which currently face trial under the Penal Code”

“The LAMP was quietly built in our backyards without us knowing about it, and day by day the toxic radioactive wastes are piling up in open storage ponds in the plant which is situated in a low lying swampy area exposed to yearly extreme monsoon weathers.”

“How could it be acceptable and safe for a world’s largest rare earth refinery to operate without a permanent waste disposal facility? A government who cares for the wellbeing of its people will not issue the Full Operating Stage License (FOSL) to Lynas to allow them to continue to pollute our environment and harm our children. We want Lynas to pack up, clean up and get out of Malaysia.”

Tully McIntyre, spokesperson for Stop Lynas Inc said, “The environmental disaster surrounding the Mitsubishi rare earths plant in Bukit Merah, Malaysia in the 1980s-1990s have left Malaysians painfully aware of the serious health and environmental hazards of processing rare earths.”

“It is inevitable this particular project will always be met with opposition, when both the Company and the Government deny transparency with local community living near the LAMP.”

The recently published Stop Lynas inc. paper will be submitted to Lynas for response. The paper can be downloaded at: bit.ly/LynasNoSocialLicence

More information
Natalie Lowrey, +62 859 354 97193, natalie.lowrey@gmail.com (Indonesia)
Seet Ping, +60 19 921 3780, himpunanhijau@gmail.com (Malaysia)
Tully McIntyre, +61 410 388 187, tully.mcintyre@foe.org.au (Australia)


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