KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Chang Lih Kang today said that effective from January 1 next year, Australian rare earths producer Lynas Corp must ensure their cracking and leaching plant outside Malaysia is in operation and maintain a financial deposit for compliance.

He said that the decision was made after considering economic interests, environmental protection and public health.

“Based on Section 32(5), Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984, the decision made by the prime minister is final.

“The government of Malaysia Madani understands the interests of the rare earth industry and is committed to ensuring any business dealings carried out related to this industry do not have a negative impact on the environment and the local population,” he said in a statement today.

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He added that this decision was taken after a careful evaluation, based on principles of sustainability, development and security.

“The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure the rare earth industry in Malaysia is growing responsibly and complying with the rules and standards set,” he said.

On April 28, a hearing session was held for hearing an appeal from Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd regarding the decision of the Atomic Energy Licensing Board which rejected Lynas’s application to drop the four license conditions.

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Chang said he had rejected Lynas Malaysia’s appeal to remove four conditions the government imposed on it.

Earlier today in a statement, Lynas said it plans to seek a legal review of licensing conditions for its plant in Gebeng, Pahang after it was granted a six-month extension to remove its radioactive waste in Malaysia.

Lynas said it has made significant investments in its Malaysian facility and will seek review through these processes in respect of the conditions to ensure that they are treated fairly and equitably as a foreign direct investor and as significant employer and contributor to the Malaysian economy.