Lynas rare earths plant – troubles are far from over
The world will witness one of the biggest civil disobedience events in this nation”
Mr Ibrahim has demanded that Australians ”hear the frustrations of Malaysians” over the project.
First Weld war looms – Malaysians mobilise to fight Lynas plant, The Age, September 13, 202 Lindsay MurdochACTIVISTS are planning a multi-pronged attack to try to stop the Australian miner Lynas Corp opening a rare earths
processing plant in Malaysia.
Opposition parties, led by Anwar Ibrahim, are also planning to make the $230 million plant a key issue of the country’s national elections, which must be held by April next year. They have vowed to shut the plant if they oust the government. After months of delays, Lynas last week was given a two-year temporary
licence to run the plant, near Kuantan, in Malaysia’s eastern state of
Pahang. It was to process material from Lynas’ Mount Weld mine in
Western Australia, seen as a potential game changer for the rare
earths industry, dominated by China.
Mount Weld is the richest known deposit of rare earths, and prices
have soared in recent years.
Lynas’ shares initially jumped 41 per cent on the news of the licence
approval. Lee Tan, a former campaigner for the Australian Conservation
Foundation who was born in Kuantan, said her “home-town folks” had
vowed to stop the hazardous project going ahead.
”The crunch time will be when the ore reaches Kuantan,” she said.
”Many people have vowed to blockade the ore and are gearing up for
that.” Ms Tan said the plant was planned for an area with immense
tourism potential, only 15 kilometres from a Club Med resort.
She said that as well as legal challenges in Malaysia, cases were
being worked on in Australia.
”There is a legal ground to stop Lynas from exporting its ore due to
procedural irregularities in Australia,” she said.
Wong Tack, chairman of the activist group Himpunan Hijau, said the
port in Kuantan would be paralysed until the materials were taken
away…… Ore is expected to start arriving there next month.
“The world will witness one of the biggest civil disobedience events in this nation,” Mr Wong said.
Rare earth materials are used to make high-technology products such as
smartphones, iPods and missiles.
Lynas’ project has prompted public anger that has been vented at
several large rallies across Malaysia.
In 1982, a rare earths refinery built by Japan’s Mitsubishi in
Malaysia’s Perak state was closed after claims that it caused birth
defects and leukaemia among residents….. Mr Ibrahim has demanded
that Australians ”hear the frustrations of Malaysians” over the
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