KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 — Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd and MARA Corporation Sdn Bhd has entered into a memorandum of understanding today to mark their collaboration on several key projects.
The projects will include attracting downstream industries and downstream education and training initiatives in Malaysia, commercialisation of NUF (Neutralisation Underflow Residue) residues from the Lynas Malaysia plant including making soil conditioner (fertiliser) products to Malay farmers and, design and fabrication work related to the Lynas 2025 Project.
“Rare earths are essential inputs to high technology, high growth industries.
“If you look at it, all of you are carrying ‘rare earth’ along with you, because all your phones have components made from rare earth. Otherwise, your phone won’t ring,” said MARA Corporation Sdn Bhd chairman Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi during a press conference after exchanging documents with Lynas Malaysia managing director Datuk Mashal Ahmad.
Key end-user sectors include automotive (internal combustion vehicles, hybrid and electric vehicles), electronics and appliances, automation and defence systems, wind turbines and oil and gas refining.
“In fact, Malaysia has lost time (in the last decade), while other countries like Vietnam now has a downstream industries factory.
“Today’s MOU signing marks the beginning of greater opportunities for highly skilled graduates, research and development, and more downstream industries,” said Akhramsyah.
Elaborating on this MOU, Mashal said it was a ‘happy moment’ for him, after fighting for the project for the last 12 years.
“For the last 12 years, I have spent my time fighting with groups that were making wild accusations without evidence.
“Today, I thank the government for making critical decisions based on scientific facts. I am grateful for MARA and I am grateful for the Prime Minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad),” said Mashal recalling how the Lynas project was first aimed at creating more downstream industries.
When asked about the NUF used as making soil conditioner (or fertiliser), Mashal said, studies have been done and proven that the residues are non-toxic and safe for use on food and non-food agriculture industries.
“NUF is one do the two residues produced in Lynas and it has been confirmed non-toxic and non-carcinogenic.
“These researches were done with local bodies such as Mardi and local universities such as Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
“Even Sirim has said it is completely safe for agriculture use,” he added.
Also present at the press conference was Lynas Corporation CEO Amanda Lacaze, who said that the MOU marks that Lynas is not just here to stay but to grow.
When asked to expand on the Lynas 2025 project, Lacaze said it is focused on growing alongside the rare earth industry.
“This is an exciting growth industry, and Lynas is the second-largest producer in the world of rare earth.
“The industry is forecast to grow significantly at least a decade and Lynas has planned to grow in the industry.
“So that is what Lynas 2025 is. Lynas 2025 sees us move an additional 50 per cent capacity into manufacturing operations.
“It also sees us diversify our industrial footprint, as Akhramsyah said, by using our incredibly skilled Malaysians in the design and development of facilities which will be based both in Australia and the US,” she said.