Bentong MP demands Lynas shutdown after company admits it can’t meet mining terms

Bentong MP Wong Tack has demanded Lynas shut down its operations in Gebeng, Pahang, following its admission the conditions imposed by the government to renew its operating license is unachievable. — Bernama pic
Bentong MP Wong Tack has demanded Lynas shut down its operations in Gebeng, Pahang, following its admission the conditions imposed by the government to renew its operating license is unachievable. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 2 — Bentong MP Wong Tack has demanded Australian rare-earths mining corporation Lynas shut down its operations in Gebeng, Pahang, following its admission the conditions imposed by the government to renew its operating license is unachievable.

He said this was confirmed by Lynas’ chief executive officer Amanda Lacaze, who was reported to have admitted it is unable to nor has any intention to ship their toxic radioactive wastes out of Malaysia.

“So why are we giving Lynas six more months? So that they can continue with their spins to mislead the people, to continue generating more of their toxic radioactive wastes which they cannot ship out and contaminate and pollute our environment, harming our people?” Wong said in a statement.

He added Lacaze’s admission rendered its 2012 letter of undertaking committing it to remove all waste generated out of the country, as little more than a farce to mislead the rakyat.

“I strongly urge Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin to immediately issue a stop work order to Lynas, and order them to pay up the US$50 million (RM203.7 million) security deposit in full by cash.

“For over six years, the previous government has allowed Lynas to blatantly violate our country’s laws, rules and regulations. Enough is enough,” Wong said.

He also criticised the decision by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) to permit Lynas to pay the security deposit in the form of bonds.

“For 2013 and 2014, Lynas has paid a total of US$11.05 million (RM45.02 million) in cash, but for 2014 to 2018, payments totalling US$31.16 million (RM126.95 million) was paid in bonds instead.

“With the final installment of US$7.79 million (RM31.74 million) due to be paid this year, I hope the AELB explains why they allowed Lynas the convenience to pay by bonds instead of cash. Will they become worthless if Lynas closes or goes bankrupt?” Wong asked.

He said Malaysians will not stand idly by and permanently sacrifice a massive piece of their precious land to build what he described as Lynas’ ‘toxic radioactive wastes tombs’.

“To all environmentally responsible Malaysians, let us continue to stand together to ensure Lynas shuts down, cleans up, and gets out of Malaysia!” Wong said.

The corporation’s half-year financial report published recently expressed doubt about the continued operation of its refinery within six months.

Its directors said exporting the volume of water leach purification residue currently on site per the AELB’s mandated time frame is unachievable. 

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