Malaysian court asked to stop rare earths plant

Feb 17, 2012
A child is seen during a protest against Lynas Corporation in Kuantan, some 260 kilometres east of Kuala Lumpur, on February 4. Malaysian activists said on Friday they had filed a court challenge to block a rare earths plant being built by Australian miner Lynas, which has stoked fears over radiation pollution.

Malaysian activists said on Friday they had filed a court challenge to block a rare earths plant being built by Australian miner Lynas, which has stoked fears over radiation pollution.

Activist group Stop Lynas Coalition filed a petition on behalf of residents of eastern Malaysia, where the plant is located, the group's advisor, opposition lawmaker Fuziah Salleh said.

The filing with a court in the capital Kuala Lumpur seeks a review of the government's decision earlier this month to award Lynas an operating license, she said.

Lynas intends to process rare earths -- elements used in such products as , and -- at the plant in Malaysia's Pahang state. The rare earths are to be imported from Australia.

The Malaysian government has said it will closely monitor the company's handling of . Lynas has insisted the plant will be safe.

Fuziah said the plant should not be allowed to open as no detailed study had been done to assess its impact on the environment and residents.

"What if there is a leakage? What if there is migration of the radioactive material into the water and soil?" Fuziah told AFP.

"There should be a real detailed study."

Analysts say the plant, able to process an initial 11,000 tonnes of rare earths per year, will help break a Chinese stranglehold on the materials that has crimped supply and sent prices soaring in recent years.

China currently meets about 95 percent of world demand.

Lynas hopes to begin production in the middle of the year.

But activists have vowed to step up their protests ahead of general elections widely expected to be called this year. A rally in the seaside town of Kuantan near the plant is scheduled for later this month.

Opponents point to a similar rare earths plant in Malaysia's northern Perak state forced to shut down in 1992 over protests from residents who blamed it for in nearby populations.

Explore further: Oregon sues Oracle over failed health care website

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Malaysia says to rule soon on rare earths plant

Jan 31, 2012

A government ruling on whether Australian miner Lynas would be given the go-ahead for a controversial rare earths processing plant was expected within days, Malaysia's trade minister said Tuesday.

Malaysia grants license to Aussie rare earth plant

Feb 01, 2012

(AP) -- Malaysia on Wednesday granted a license for an Australian mining company to operate the first rare earths plant outside China in years, despite public protests over fears of radioactive contamination.

Malaysia reviews safety of rare earth plant

Apr 22, 2011

(AP) -- Malaysia said Friday it is appointing international experts to investigate whether a refinery being built by Australian miner Lynas Corp. Ltd. to process rare earth minerals presents any threat of ...

China rare earths supplier suspends production

Oct 20, 2011

(AP) -- China's biggest producer of rare earths is suspending production for one month in hopes of boosting slumping prices of the exotic minerals used in mobile phones and other high-tech products.

China cuts 2012 rare earths export quota

Dec 28, 2011

(AP) -- China announced a cut Tuesday in its rare earths export quota as it tries to shore up sagging prices for the exotic metals used in mobile phones and other high-tech goods.

China to raise rare earths production this year

Mar 31, 2011

(AP) -- China said Thursday it will increase this year's production quota for rare earths but gave no sign it might reverse plans to cut exports of the exotic metals needed by high-tech industry.

Recommended for you

Oregon sues Oracle over failed health care website

8 hours ago

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum says she's filed a lawsuit against Oracle Corp. and several of its executives over the technology company's role in the state's troubled health insurance exchange.

Google buys product design firm Gecko

8 hours ago

Google on Friday confirmed that it bought Gecko Design to bolster its lab devoted to technology-advancing projects such as self-driving cars and Internet-linked Glass eyewear.

Ticketfly buying WillCall for on-premise data

Aug 21, 2014

Ticketfly Inc., a San Francisco-based technology company among several posing a challenge to Ticketmaster, is acquiring WillCall Inc., a crosstown rival that turns your smartphone into a mobile wallet at live events.

HP revenue inches up after years of decline

Aug 20, 2014

Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday reported that its quarterly revenue rose for the first time in three years, nudged by improved computer sales everywhere except Russia and China.

Restaurants experimenting with pay-in-advance tickets

Aug 20, 2014

With restaurant patrons increasingly jumping on the Internet to make reservations, some high-end eateries here and across the country are adding a new tech wrinkle: having their clientele pay for their meal in advance using ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

CapitalismPrevails
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 17, 2012
Then where are the environmental whackos going to get their wind turbine materials? You need rare earth materials for generator.
deatopmg
1 / 5 (1) Feb 18, 2012
or cell phones?
Deb_L
not rated yet Feb 26, 2012
Yes. A rare earth processing plant can be built, but not just 35km away from a town. It can be built in a deserted land. And a structured/proper waste disposal plan is required.