Lynas Malaysia renewed their operating license

Lynas Malaysia renewed their operating license

Lynas Malaysia renewed their operating licenseThe operating permit for Lynas Malaysia has been extended through March 2026, therefore enabling the business to carry on importing and processing rare earths.

According to Malaysia’s Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Chang Lih Kang, the extension permitted the Australian rare earths manufacturer to continue its cracking and leaching operations there.

Chang clarified that Lynas must do research and development with the assistance of regional experts to ensure that the radioactive level in water leach purification (WLP) residue is less than 1 becquerel (Bq) per gram.

The Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) does not classify items with radioactivity levels below 1Bq/g as radioactive waste. As a result, the Atomic Energy Licensing Act (ALB) does not apply to them.

“The decision of AELB is based on preliminary laboratory findings indicating that thorium radioactive elements can be extracted from WLP residues, allowing them to be released from legal controls under the AEL Act,” he told a press conference on 24 October according to FMT.


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Chang added that Lynas came up with the idea to extract thorium from radioactive waste not long after the company in Malaysia requested a judicial review of two of the terms of its operating license in July.

According to Lynas, the thorium extraction done on a small scale in the lab. It will need to scaled up for commercialization.

He added that Lynas merely needs to set aside a portion of land within its Gebeng, Pahang, facility and does not require a new location for carrying out such extraction activities.

Chang added that the waste produced by Lynas may become non-radioactive by removing thorium from the lanthanide and WLP byproducts.

When asked if this created a “win-win” scenario for Lynas and the government, he responded that it accomplished both the goals of preventing the continued accumulation of radioactive waste and solving the current waste problem.

After a hearing on 28 April, the minister decided to support the AELB’s decision to deny Lynas’s request for four licensing conditions. They confirmed this on 9 May.

The Gebeng plant’s cracking and leaching operations meant to end on 1 July. Still, Chang claimed Lynas had a six-month extension until 31 December in order to avoid any hiccups in the world’s rare earth supply chain.

The proposal to temporarily halt Lynas’ operations in Malaysia—aside from its unit for processing mixed rare earth carbonate—happened on 20 October.

Earlier, in April, Lynas had declared its intention to either temporarily halt operations in Malaysia or drastically scale back output if the license’s restrictions on the importation and processing of lanthanide concentrate persisted.

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