Firm confident it can manage residues

PETALING JAYA: Lynas Corporation has expressed confidence in its ability to convert residue material generated from its proposed rare-earth mining plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, into a co-product known as Iron Phospho Gypsum and export it for use in various industries.

Lynas Corp executive chairman Nicholas Curtis also said that the current hindrances faced by the company like lawsuits and protests will in no way "slow Lynas down".

He said specific steps have been taken by the company to implement the process, including commissioning a pilot plant in Gebeng to further refine the co-product for specific commercial applications.

"The most likely application for the Iron Phospho Gypsum coproduct is as road base aggregate. There are also applications for coproducts in land rehabilitation and agriculture," said Curtis during a teleconference interview from the company's headquarters in Australia on Monday.

He said that the RM2.5 billion Lynas Advanced Material Plant (LAMP), which will process rareearth mined in Mount Weld, Australia, is expected to produce some 64,000 tonnes of Iron Phospho Gypsum per year from Phase One and Phase Two of the project. Curtis said Lynas has also identified several countries within the Southeast Asian region to be its potential market for the coproduct.

He said that the decision was a "voluntary" move on Lynas' part, in its bid to allay public concerns over what they claimed to be potential health hazards posed by the residue generated.

"The principal cause of the community's anxiety has to do with storage and management of residue resulting from the refining process.

"Lynas has committed to remove all materials which are causing the major concern and export them in a form acceptable for international markets, as well as in accordance with all Malaysian regulations and international conventions," he said.

Meanwhile, asked for comment on the ongoing legal proceedings between Lynas Corp and Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL), a coalition of NGOs calling for a halt to the plant, Curtis said he respected the rights of any individual to such avenues but stressed that it will not in any way "slow Lynas down".

"We are confident that every step which we have taken is in accordance with every law in Malaysia," said Curtis.

Resource: The Sun, Page: 4
Date: Thursday, 6 September 2012

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