NGO condemns Lynas plant in Australia, rejects IAEA report

By Melissa Chi, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 — Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) continued to go all out to stop Australian miner Lynas Corp from setting up a RM700 million rare earth refinery plant in Gebeng and condemned today the opening of Lynas’s concentration plant in Mt. Weld, Western Australia.

“Let us each do our part to ensure that this impending tragedy that will befall a population of 700,000 around a 30km radius of the LAMP does not begin with the opening of the concentration facility at Mt. Weld.

“We the Save Malaysia Stop Lynas movement will take every action and do everything possible to stop it,” said SMSL representative Tan Bun Teet in a statement.

According to Australian media, the Mt Weld mine, about 35km south of Laverton, is a US$100 million (RM310million) Lynas Corporation project developed over the past 10 years.

The ore will be concentrated at Mount Weld before export to LYNAS Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Gebeng, about 25km from Kuantan, and then sold globally.

The non-governmental organisation had also rejected the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) report saying the controversial rare earth plant in Gebeng is safe.

“Lynas has conveniently used the narrowly focused IAEA review to claim that the LAMP is safe.  What Lynas has failed nor bothered to reveal is that the IAEA review panel has only narrowly assessed the radiation safety aspects of the LAMP.

“In reality, the IAEA Review has not dealt with the many critical aspects of the LAMP that have far greater impact on the environment and our health.  The entire plant design, its construction, operation, incidents, decommissioning, shutdowns, and waste treatment; environmental, plant asset integrity, civil and structure have been left out in the review. Other crucial issues including occupational health and safety as well as socio-economic were also not in the scope of the review,” he said.