The AELB is confident that the Lynas plant is safe, despite opposition from its critics.
AELB director-general Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan said all aspects of Lynas’s intended operations in Gebeng, Kuantan, had been considered, including its technical and safety aspects, as well as public opinion.
“It is very well aware of the advice given to it by our legal attorneys, who represent the Attorney-General’s Chambers on all the issues before they came to the decision,” he told reporters at AELB’s office today.
He added that Lynas had made a “unilateral” committment to bring the Water Leach Purification (WLP) residue from the plant out of Malaysia, as commerical products.
Issued on Sept 3, AELB added that the TOL would expire on Sept 2, 2014. Subsequent renewals of this licence are dependant on Lynas.
On lanthanide rare earth materials being brought into Malaysia, Abdul Aziz said that Lynas had to apply for an import licence to bring them in.
“It is not a blank cheque to import the lanthanide concentrates. For each consignment of concentrates, they will have to go through a system of import permits.
“So we will issue from time to time each consignment of lanthanide that comes into the country,” he said.
As for when the first shipments would enter Malaysia, Abdul Aziz said that there were no applications to bring them in yet.
On Wednesday, AELB said that it granted Lynas Corp a two-year TOL to operate its plant in Gebeng, near Kuantan.
AELB added that the TOL would enable Lynas to continue to conduct trial processing of limited quantities of lanthanide concentrates in stages, under “close and continuous surveillance by the authorities”.
The company was originally granted a TOL in January, though it was never issued. Widespread public protests also put the licence’s issuance on hold.
Recently, the Save Malaysia Stop Lynas movement was granted leave by the Kuantan High Court to challenge the decision by the government over the TOL.