KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 — At least five locations in Pahang have been identified as potential sites to house Australian miner Lynas Corp’s permanent disposal facility (PDF).
Citing unnamed sources, Harian Metro reported in its website today that the locations include abandoned gold and tin mines in Lepar, Luit, Padang Tengku, Bukit Ibam dan Chini.
A source was quoted as saying that an environmental impact assessment on the said locations is currently ongoing. This will include the facility’s potential effect on nearby residents.
“These locations have high potential to be picked for the new PDF given they were formerly mines with no planned industrial projects or development,” the source said.
Lynas Corp said yesterday it was confident about Putrajaya’s process to renew its operating licence amid protest over the firm’s refusal to ship out its radioactive waste, proclaiming that it had done nothing illegal.
Its chief executive officer Amanda Lacaze told Bloomberg in an interview that the rare earth miner is aware that the government cares about economic development, and that its “safe and sustainable” operations will mean that there won’t be any environmental trade-offs.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad confirmed last week that the government was dropping its requirement for Lynas Corp to repatriate its Water Leach Purification (WLP) residue as a precondition for its licence renewal due by September 1.
Instead, the firm was directed to explore a PDF facility to treat its rare-earths processing residue.
The decision departed from the ruling coalition’s insistence shortly after winning the general election that Australian mining firm must remove its WLP residue from the country.