asrms

As CEO said when asked about Lynas' situation in Malaysia - "it is what it is." Guess they will be dealing with these newest requirements. No suggestion by this committee that there is any present evidence for any damage to env' or people. What happened to Condsoil? wasn't to supposed to be the answer to non radioactive waste?  CEO will deal with this like she has done with all roadblocks in the past. 

Quote 0 0
asrms
"CLSA analyst Dylan Kelly said in a note to clients that the cost of transporting the waste back to Australia was estimated to be $60 million, but said insurance would cover about $46 million of that. The balance of about $14 million would represent about 10 per cent of the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $129 million that Lynas recorded in 2017-18."

Thank heavens for insurance. Lynas needs to take a look at that security bond they paid Malaysia - was it 20 - 30 mill? Some of that might be returned (maybe via court action) for Malaysia's u turn.
Quote 0 0
TK
Rare earths - substandard precautionary practices for Malaysians?

Quote:
Whether these risk models are adequate for assessing the health risks of chronic exposure to low-level ionising radiation from ingested or inhaled radioactive particulates (notwithstanding periodic updates and refinements), remain contentious especially in the wake of excess childhood leukaemia near nuclear power plants that could not be explained by radiation exposures which were two to three orders of magnitude below the “safe thresholds”.

Quote:
Most notably, two large epidemiological studies in Germany (KiKK, 2008) and in France (Geocap, 2012) have reported statistically robust findings of a doubling of leukaemia risk among children living within a 5 km radius of a nuclear power plant, where radiation exposures were much below 1 mSv/yr.


Absolutely worthwhile of consideration.
Quote 0 0
asrms

Agreed - contention over the degree of danger to people - does that mean stop because of disagreement? climate change a classic example of contention.

Interesting that with talk on board of value chain importance Lynas CEO says -

“When you talk about magnetic materials, magnet making is the next serious technical stage within the global supply chain.

“Lynas has on three different occasions courted magnet makers to invest in Malaysia, and each time, the antics of the anti-Lynas crowd has made them step back.”

Does Malaysia want to try to build out such a chain - maybe court Japanese battery makers and a car maker to there shores?
Never give itself chance with this antics.




Quote 0 0
asrms

Info just keeps coming - This will be useful information for Lynas to take should they need to go court with Malaysia over these new demands (my underlining). Below comes from today’s Lynas statement. What's good for the goose (others in Malaysia) is good for the gander (Lynas)!

 

“Lynas wishes to respond to comments relating to the Review Committee’s recommendation that studies on the Balok River aquatic ecosystem be conducted after it found an increase in heavy metal concentrations for nickel, chromium, lead and mercury in groundwater in the Gebeng-Kuantan area. The Review Committee report made no findings as to the origin of the materials in the groundwater and instead recommended that further studies are undertaken. There are many potential sources and reasons for the heavy metal presence in groundwater and to suggest otherwise is incorrect and misleading.”

“The Review Committee also recommended biological monitoring to measure the intake of heavy metals and radioactive materials by aquatic plants and aquatic life. Lynas carried out such monitoring onsite and will further implement the recommendation of the Review Committee. Lynas also hopes that other neighboring mines and industrial plants will follow our lead.

“Gypsum is the 2nd highest volume residue produced by industrial plants in Malaysia and Lynas produces two types of gypsum, one of which contains low levels of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM). Lynas is aware of instances where much higher volumes of gypsum material are stored on sites in Malaysia, and where material with much higher levels of radioactivity is stored in facilities that are not of the same high standard as Lynas’ facilities.”

Quote 0 0
TK
Lynas wants to sue govt? We’re ready for it, says minister

Fuziah sceptical about Lynas’ reason to build permanent disposal facility

450,000 tons of waste.....
Quote 0 0
asrms
Just got to realize that there's a handful of Malaysian politicians with probably as with most vocal issues a small following who see this as a now or never chance to relieve their old feud with Lynas. CEO needs to hold the government to the wording of 'actual' documents that refer to waste management agreements and get on with it! Use the courts if necessary, get those permits renewed and get producing. Let the lawyers sort out the details. Any new production facilities should go elsewhere - as others suggest Japan, Australia even US. Lets get on with business its the safest rare earth  plant in the world. CEO has pointed to other manufacturers/miners in Malaya with worse waste problems re., radioactive levels.  Your right on the question about Malaysia and new industry. Why would REE related industries battery, magnets electric cars think of opening in this environment? and they want to escape China's investment grip - a joke! 
Quote 0 0
rareearthsinvestor
It is noticeable now the number of emerging nations who are concerned about China's already and proposed economic investments within their borders to further the belt way initiative. Philippines are now railing against the number of Chinese who are flooding into their country to work in the new 'Chinese' driven gaming industry. (If such outcries had happened in the US politicians would be screaming charges of racism left right and center). Malaysia are now wanting to renegotiate the 13 bill Chinese backed transport infrastructure (while also chasing after the former leadership for shady dealings with the Chinese). I just hope that this new 'regime' now in control of Malaysian politics does not try to use Lynas existence as one potential bargaining chip with the Chinese. I am sure the Japanese (and Australians) are watching this situation very closely. 
Quote 0 0
TK
Please be aware, that it is ethnic Chinese minorities all over South East Asia, who effectivley run the economies there, including Malaysia. While particularly the Christians among the overseas Chinese may not necessarily be sympathetic to the mainland communists, it is the communists reaching out to them and luring them into the mainland realm. The implicit protection by the mainland is attractive, considering the persecution and injustice ethnic Chinese have to endure from time to time in certain SEA countries.

The strategy of Malaysia regarding the Belt & Road railway project is, that they want to get out of it without paying the substantial break-up fees. So, Malaysia PM Mahatir tries to frustrate China by extending renegotiation of the deal until eternity.

Malaysia is a complicated political environment, nothing is really clear-cut. There are political undercurrents, completely out of sight. Malaysia has proven time and time again, that Malay politics trump economics. In terms of Lynas it means, that nothing is impossible or unlikely.
Quote 0 0
TK
Any Lynas benefit not worth the risk

An opinion piece in the New Straits Times, Malaysia.

Quote:
This letter is signed by academics and civil society activists, and supported by Subang, Pasir Gudang, Tanjong Malim, Merbok, Setiawangsa Johor Baru, Julau and Ledang members of parliament
Quote 0 0
RVR
 The latest today on Zmalsysian Belt and Road. This line passes through Kuantan...
Press Conference seems to have been held today....
Dr M: Govt renegotiated ECRL to avoid paying RM21.78bil termination fee NATION Monday, 15 Apr 2019 12:12 PM MYT Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/04/15/dr-m-govt-renegotiated-ecrl-to-avoid-paying-rm21-78bil-with-nothing-to-show-for-it/#uGfdCjMtQ2fmAtZI.99
Quote 0 0
RVR
The latest today on Malaysian Belt and Road. This line passes through Kuantan...
Press Conference seems to have been held today....
Dr M: Govt renegotiated ECRL to avoid paying RM21.78bil termination fee NATION Monday, 15 Apr 2019 12:12 PM MYT Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/04/15/dr-m-govt-renegotiated-ecrl-to-avoid-paying-rm21-78bil-with-nothing-to-show-for-it/#uGfdCjMtQ2fmAtZI.99
Quote 0 0
TK
Malaysian concerns over Lynas raised with Kevin Rudd in 2011

Quote:
This was around the same time that ASX-listed Lynas was being warned, in a confidential report it commissioned, that it had failed to engage with the Malaysian community, which could jeopardise its operations in the country.


Quote:
Wesfarmers chief executive Rob Scott met with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad last month to discuss the regulatory issues faced by Lynas.

The following day, Dr Mahathir announced that a company interested in acquiring Lynas had promised to extract the radioactive waste before exporting the ore to Malaysia.

Wesfarmers has denied any impropriety in its meetings with the Malaysian government.
Quote 0 0
rareearthsinvestor

I agree with others who have asked why still discuss the science re the Lynas issue. I think most recognize that this issue has assumed a political level that means scientific reason is no longer useful in discussing the Lynas situation. Whether Lynas is the most transparent miner around or not, does not matter. Whether the original agreements show that the waste should be removed or stored (unless you want to argue this in the Malaysian? or world courts) does not matter. IMO the Malaysian position is now entirely political (and ego) driven.

Question is, how does Lynas meet this political issue and assuage certain egos? As investors this is the one present/future question to which we need answer(s). Hence, here are my questions and, again, non any longer relate to the science involved (unless you want to call it political science).

Do we believe that the Malaysian economy receives important present economic benefits from having Lynas reside within (i.e., people to Government)?

Will such Lynas residence in fact lead to future economic gains?

Do those potential gains include drawing other entities to Malaysian shores because of Lynas presence?

Will such gains include Malaysia creating its own value chain entities related to Lynas?

Will such new Malaysian entities depend on non-Malaysian finance and if so, will this mean Japanese, rather than Chinese money?

Will external Malaysian investments (e.g. Hastings) benefit from governments who look favorably on the way in which Malaysia treats its own internal ‘foreign’ entities?

In contrast, do we believe that the Chinese have any say in the outcome for Lynas (e.g., was there any discussion of Lynas in the recent transport structure renegotiated by Malaysia? After all WES committed such discussions re., Lynas future with the Malaysian PM.

If you believe that most of the above questions have a positive answer then that would offer support for Lynas continuation in Malaysia, from a rationale economic perspective.

However, regardless of the amount of rationality that may be perceived to support Lynas continuation from the perspective of Malaysian benefits, IMO the status quo for both parties is gone.

If the waste stays, then Malaysian egos lose and I don’t get the feeling this will occur; not this time. However, if it goes, then where to? If no to Australia will Lynas mentor Japan take? Or another country? This is the major issue. Clearly transportation will come at a cost (which Japanese financiers would probably support). Anyone suggestions and reasons as this for me is now the crux of the matter? Could a major step in here to alleviate this problem? WES still wanted permit guarantees, but could others carry much greater ‘muscle’ re removal and disposal? Would such moves also likely be connected to tacit government backing?

If Malaysia ‘wins’ on removal, then their ‘give’ will have to be probably on the next to impossible waste removal in 6 months. If they don’t ‘give’ then they shut Lynas down, at least in Malaysia with all its suggested potential loss. Therefore, a quid pro quo would be a more realistic removal period given with a renewed operation permit.

I would be very interested in any ideas focused on the crux issue; the removal.

(Posted to other boards as well)

Quote 0 0
rareearthsinvestor

Healthy debate needed on Lynas, says Saifuddin

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/04/20/healthy-debate-needed-on-lynas-says-saifuddin/#cbRPdsr0sP5g10Bz.99

KUANTAN: Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah is supportive of healthy debates on the issue of Lynas' residues.

The Indera Mahkota MP said he understood the main contention was about the water leach purification (WLP) and neutralisation underflow (NUF) residues produced from processing rare earth at the Lynas refinery in Gebeng here.

"There's about 450,000 tonnes of WLP and some 1.5 million tonnes of NUF now.

"The debate is whether it's safe or not? Whether it has high or low radioactivity?


As I alluded to in the above post, IMHO we are now beyond the scientific debate re., the Lynas waste issue. Like the Mueller Report in the US facts on paper are not going to change minds (not the important ego driven ones). Those who favor e.g., Trump do so, those who don’t, won’t. The factual details of the Mueller Report won’t sway entrenchment either way. Likewise, we are dealing with Malaysian opponents to Lynas who are highly likely to bend this time, as occurred several years ago (and they are now in power).

Just my op’ but I don’t think that the Lynas CEO is spending too much time waiting for several ‘characters’ to show up at the Lamp so that she can go through the scientific method with them again, as they wonder around the plant! The above minister’s support for “…healthy debates on the issue of Lynas' residues…” is just wasting precious time and I think that the Lynas CEO knows this all to well. Whether waste stored is likely to lead to future contamination is debatable and the Japanese debacle in Malaysia several decades ago just emboldens Lynas opponents. So move on!

Bottom line is that Lynas needs to take action on either building a permanent storage facility or moving the pile. Not worried if Malaysians cannot or choose not to understand data based evidence. What is the quid pro quo re., time limits for Lynas to move waste? You expect the company to move, then how much time will you give and don’t quote ridiculous 4-5 months left limits.

Lynas needs specific action plans both for storage and/or ways to move. Moving needs feedback the Malaysians and from other governments or big pocket majors who have a serious intent to buy or JV (don’t include WES here). Lynas has several months left because if its no go on transport out, or storage; to put it in the vernacular; ‘they are screwed!’ If I and others feel this way I am sure the CEO is way beyond us.  Hence my call for ideas on removal, where, how long, whose involved, etc?

Quote 0 0
rareearthsinvestor

Politics could upend global trade in rare earth elements

  1. Yao-Hua Law*

Science  12 Apr 2019:

Companies and governments worldwide are anxiously watching the fate of a sprawling industrial facility 30 kilometers north of this city on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia.

The 100-hectare Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) produces 10% of the world's output of rare earth oxides (REOs), minerals needed in technologies including mobile phones, hard drives, surgical lasers, and cruise missiles. Lynas, an Australian company, imports concentrated ores from mines in Australia and refines them in Malaysia, where costs are lower; it sells REOs—which include cerium compounds, used in catalytic converters, and neodymium, critical to permanent magnets—to Japan, the United States, and other countries. The plant produced almost 18,000 tons of REOs in 2018.

Now, LAMP faces closure, barely 7 years after it opened. Environmental groups have long opposed the on-site storage of slightly radioactive waste from the extraction process, and they found a sympathetic ear in a new government elected in May 2018. In December 2018, the government demanded that LAMP ship its radioactive waste back to Australia if it wants to renew its operating license, which expires on 2 September. The company says exporting the residue by the deadline is “unachievable.”

The standoff has caused Lynas's stock to lose almost half its value and has worried many countries hungry for REOs. A shutdown would be “a significant event with a ripple effect,” says Ryan Castilloux, a metals and minerals analyst at Adamas Intelligence in Amsterdam. For one thing, it would strengthen China's position as the dominant supplier of REOs, which many countries deem a strategic risk. Japan's electric vehicle industry, for instance, would lose its main supplier of REOs for permanent magnets.

Rare earth elements include those with atomic numbers 57 to 71, the “lanthanide series” of the periodic table, as well as scandium and yttrium. Their exceptional magnetic and conductive traits make them critical to clean energy technology, such as hybrid fuel cells, solar panels, and wind turbine magnets. Industries worth trillions of dollars depend on REOs worth only billions, Castilloux says.

Rare earth deposits are found in more than 800 locations worldwide. Refining them takes lots of corrosive chemicals and generates huge amounts of residue. China was long the sole supplier; when it reduced exports in 2010, citing environmental concerns, prices jumped as much as 26-fold and major consumers scrambled for alternate sources. The United States and Myanmar mine REOs as well, but these are also processed in China, which now produces about 89% of the global REO output (see graphic, below). Lynas has become a “flagship” of REO production outside China, Castilloux says.

But the company is running aground in Malaysia. At LAMP, ores are roasted with acids to dissolve the REOs and then diluted with water. This creates a solution of concentrated REOs and a pastelike residue—more than 1.5 million tons so far, of which 30% is slightly radioactive because it retains thorium and uranium from the ores. Some REO facilities elsewhere have built permanent, secure facilities to store such waste, says Julie Klinger, a geographer and expert in REO mining at Boston University; others are secretive about what they do with it. “Residues are definitely the main issue,” says Tracy Moore, CEO of Canada Rare Earth Corporation in Vancouver.

In a plan approved by the previous government, Lynas aimed to recycle its residues; the company has sponsored Malaysian researchers to turn them into soil enhancers. These efforts have not yielded commercial products, however. And in December 2018, a new executive committee, appointed by the government to evaluate LAMP, cautioned against using the radioactive waste in agriculture as it might accumulate in the environment. Retired radiochemist Amran Majid of the National University of Malaysia in Bangi and others have suggested a different strategy—extract the thorium, which accounts for almost all of the radioactivity, for use as fuel for nuclear reactors.

So far, LAMP has been storing residues on-site instead, in rapidly growing hills. The specter of piled up radioactive waste has sparked public fears, which experts say are exaggerated. Workers at the site are exposed to about 1.03 millisieverts (mSv) per year, Lynas reports, far below the 20-mSv threshold advised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for workers exposed to radiation. The health effects of such low doses are “negligible,” says Kwan Hoong Ng, a medical physicist at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur. People outside the facility are at an even lower risk, Amran adds.

Still, in 2011 and 2014 IAEA found that Lynas lacked adequate plans for a permanent facility if recycling fails. The executive committee has suggested Lynas build one immediately, citing the potential for natural disasters to disperse the residues. (Monsoon storms and floods are common in the area.) Radioactivity isn't the only risk, says Bun Teet Tan, chair of Save Malaysia Stop Lynas, a nongovernmental organization here. A 2013 review by the Öko-Institute in Darmstadt, Germany, commissioned by Tan's group, found that heavy metals such as nickel, chromium, lead, and mercury could contaminate groundwater.

Neither the ministry in charge nor Lynas responded to interview requests from Science. In a financial report issued in late February, Lynas directors said the company has lived up to the terms of its operating license and will build permanent storage if necessary; exporting the residue should be a last resort, they said.

Saleem Ali, an expert in energy and the environment at University of Delaware in Newark, says the anti-Lynas fervor in Malaysia is “a classic case of the not-in-my-backyard syndrome.” He says recycling is a commendable option but worries activists are now “stigmatizing the waste.” Because REOs are crucial for green technology, “The industry needs to make the case more effectively that [it] benefits not just the local, but also the global community,” Saleem says. Klinger says the conflict offers an “exciting opportunity” to develop new solutions for clean REO production that could serve as a model for others.

How the impasse will end is unclear. On 5 April, Prime Minister Mahathir Muhamad announced that Lynas can continue to operate if it imports only nonradioactive materials. In a statement, Lynas said it “sees value” in that idea. But shifting the processes that produce radioactive waste to Australia would be expensive, Castilloux says. “A slowdown in production or outright shutdown is certain.” And Mahathir didn't say whether waste already stored at LAMP can stay.

Meanwhile, REO producers from developed countries are establishing new footholds worldwide. A Lynas shutdown would offer “greater market opportunities” for other players, but could also “discourage financing” as investors might fear similar problems, Moore says.

  • Yao-Hua Law is a science journalist in Kuala Lumpur.
Quote 0 0
RVR
That’s a pretty good summary of the current situation. Here’s my summary of the broader context - and vital importance to the Western world of the LAMP’s continuing operation for at least the next 5-10 years - assuming that we don’t want to be totally beholden to China for ALL rare earth supplies!

Around 50% of all electricity generated worldwide is used to power rotary & traction electric motors.

 

NdFeB rare earth magnets now provide the lightest weight, lowest volume and overall most energy efficient electric motors for almost ALL applications

 

China controls 85% of global NdFeB production via its near monopoly control of 80% NdPr rare earth mining and the supply chain it has built to process REO to product.

 

The ONLY current international competitor to the Chinese is the Japanese NdFeB industry that is dominated by just a handful of players - but importantly these provide 45% of the world supply of the high-end rare earth segment.

 

The Japanese NdFeB industry is now around 80% dependent on production from the Lynas LAMP at Kuantan for continuous NdPr oxide & Nd oxide supplies. Any disruption to that supply for any significant period would severely damage Japanese/ROW NdFeB supply, perhaps fatally. The only other source of NdPr of any consequence is China, which has a long history of antagonism and confrontation with its north Asian neighbour and highly industrialised competititor.

 

This very large production chemical processing plant currently producing around 25,000 tonnes of many different rare earth event oxides annually is one of the most complex chemical plants in the world, and unlike many of its Chinese competitors, the LAMP holds international ISO certification for the safety and quality of its operations. From its outset a decade ago, the Japanese Government and its RE agency has provided key funding for the Lynas LAMP, including additional loans to double its production capacity immediately after the first plant was opened.

 

As an indicator of the importance China places on NdFeB for high-end magnets, NdFeB production has been recognised as a key enabler for many of the ten high  technology industry segments where China seeks to dominate internationally by 2025, especially Energy Saving and New Energy Vehicles, Power Equipment, Advanced Railway Equipment and Numerical Control Tools and Robotics.

 

Another topical indicator is China's aggressive moves to capture global electric vehicle production, with NdFeB magnets at the heart of the permanent magnet motors that drive the great majority of electric vehicles. Control of the NdPr/NdFeB/PMM supply chain would give China powerful leverage over the entire EV industry.  

 

Overall, therefore, the Lynas LAMP NdPr supply to the Japanese NdFeB magnet industry is the ONLY alternate supply chain of any consequence currently in operation. Its technological complexity and proprietary intellectual property would take a minimum of five years to replicate.

Quote 0 0
rareearthsinvestor
Thanks for the input RVR. Here are some Chinese past figures. Any idea what are some comparables for ROW/Japan?

Production of rare earth permanent magnet materials industry in January-February 2019

2019/4/9 14:54:14 Source: Raw Materials Industry Division

In January-February 2019, the production of rare earth permanent magnet materials in China was relatively stable.
The output of sintered NdFeB blanks was 27,000 tons, up 4.6% year-on-year; the output of bonded magnets was 1225 tons, up 5% year-on-year;
the output of samarium-cobalt magnets was 400 tons.unchanged from the same period last year.
(Source: China Rare Earth Industry Association)


Quote 0 0
TK
Let's for a moment assume the worst, that is the closure of LAMP. There is still the output from Mt Weld. And there is overcapacity for RE separation in China paired with overcapacity for permanent magnets. It is predictable, what would happen next, if LAMP closes.

China's industrial policy is not really, to feed the world with subsidized, low added value raw materials. Its target is to export EV to the world, the highest end of value creation.

Already now non-China based permanent magnet makers operate at a 13% raw material cost disadvantage, compared to China domestic permanent magnet makers. This is the result of China's massive trade manipulation, using its VAT system.

If China would cut off REO supplies to foreign magnet makers, how would you think China's chances would be to export EV to the same countries it has cut RE supplies to?

EV at this time are a "nice to have", not a "must have". Nothing is edged in stone. EV are already now more expensive than regular combustion engine vehicles. Right now China experiences what happens to the EV market, if it scales back EV subsidies even so little.

And, EV is still sub 10% of RE consumption, IMHO.

Overall, if China does not act carefully, it may well get stuck with its high end products, because it won't have markets to ship them to..

In view of all the a.m., I don't think it would be likely that China cuts the world off from RE supplies. In the worst case Mt Weld ore will be shipped to China, and China will continue exporting REO and permanent magnets to the world, as much as required.
Quote 0 0
RVR


By the way, in Yao’s otherwise good summary of the LAMP’s residue issues, he states: ’...A 2013 review by the Öko-Institute in Darmstadt, Germany, commissioned by Tan's group, found that heavy metals such as nickel, chromium, lead, and mercury could contaminate groundwater...’
My understanding from independent testing that’s been a constant feature of LAMP environmental monitoring (undoubtedly the most stringent monitoring ever conducted at any industrial plant in Malaysia - but continually ignored and falsely misrepresented by political opponents) is that THERE ARE NO HEAVY METALS in the Lynas materials processed at the LAMP, NOR ANY IN ITS RESIDUES. Therefor any heavy metals found in groundwater must be either natural in the surrounding environment, or far more likely, be emanating from the many other industrial plants in the vicinity that are NOT subject to government monitoring, especially the large tin mining enterprises whose residues contain both heavy metals AND significantly more radioactive elements than the infinitesimal radioactivity in LAMP residues.
Quote 2 0
JJBeswick
Fair summary RVR. I read the Oeko report at the time and, from memory the "heavy metals" story comes from the mass balance calculations.
Basically, inputs are listed as X, Y, Z up to % hi 90s. OEKO then assumed the (small) remainder was 100% nasty heavy metals and did their analysis on that "worst case scenario" basis.
Quote 0 0
asrms
As I read on another forum, don't think that the science matters anymore. too many egos on line for Malaysians. Can Lynas keep present waste in proper storage at lamp? If yes, then will need to agree to do waste sep; at weld. If no to storage then must agree to transport 1. who will take and 2. how long to transport of 1/2 mill tons (Sept 2019  is out but transport will IMO see major extension)? all give and take to avoid face loss. 
Quote 1 0
rareearthsinvestor

Lynas backs Malaysian waste solution despite removal order

 Financial Review

Brad Thompson May 6, 2019

 

Lynas Corporation is pushing ahead with plans to build a permanent disposal facility for low-level radioactive waste in Malaysia despite a contested ultimatum to export about 450,000 tonnes of residue already stockpiled by September.

The Wesfarmers takeover target said on Monday it was confident of meeting conditions outlined by Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad to allow continued processing of rare earths at Lynas' $1 billion Kuantan plant.

Amanda Lacaze-led Lynas said it was discussing plans for continued processing of rare earths from the Mount Weld mine in Western Australia and waste management with the Malaysian government.

Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price revealed Australian government officials had been working with the Malaysian government on the waste issue for several months. Ms Price said Australian officials would continue to engage with their counterparts in Malaysia "to see this matter resolved fairly and transparently".

Lynas has provision for a permanent disposal facility (PDF) in its financial statements and a $US42 million ($60.1 million) PDF bond held by the Malaysian regulator. “The bond held by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board [AELB] is an additional assurance of our commitment to residue management and is an amount sufficient for a PDF,” a Lynas spokesman said.

“Under the licence conditions, there is provision for both commercial reuse and permanent storage [of the waste]. We have demonstrated that both of these are viable options, subject to Malaysian government approval.”

Lynas hit a dead end when it explored options for exporting the waste after a bombshell letter from the office of Malaysia's Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin in December that said stockpiled water leach purification (WLP) residue would have to be exported before Malaysia renewed an operating licence due to expire on September 2.

The company has appealed against the condition and notified the market in its half-year report on February 28 that it “cannot meet the condition as described in the letter”. The WA government has since confirmed it will not allow the waste to be imported into the state.

Dr Mahathir suggested on April 5 that Malaysia now accepted Lynas could not export the stockpiled waste. “With regard to Lynas, we have imposed an extra condition: that is they must take away the waste. They want to take it to Australia, but Australia doesn’t want to accept it, so they can’t do it anyway,” he said after a cabinet meeting.

Both Lynas and $1.5 billion takeover suitor Wesfarmers have sought clarification on his comments, which suggested a commitment by Wesfarmers to build a first-stage cracking and leaching plant in WA to remove radioactivity before rare earths material was sent on to Kuantan.

Ms Price was  dragged into the row over the waste when her Malaysian counterpart Ms Yin wrote to her requesting collaboration on removal of the stockpiled residue. Ms Price said Australian government officials had "engaged extensively with the Malaysian government over several months, and advocated for a transparent, fair, evidence-based and objective resolution to this matter".

Lynas said on Monday it had been prepared to comply with a Malaysian government review committee’s recommendations on WLP management, including building a PDF for the stockpiled waste. The AELB has approved the Lynas planning farmework and site selection plan for a PDF. Lynas also has an undertaking from the Pahang state government in Malaysia that it can build the facility in the jurisidiction.

Lynas said it continued to invest in research on the potential safe reuse of the WLP, in keeping with international best practice. The company said last month that it saw value in building a cracking and leaching plant closer to Mount Weld and is considering sites in WA.

Quote 0 0
rareearthsinvestor

Malaysia government 'pleased' with rare earths firm Lynas' plans to move initial ore processing: CEO

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lynas-corp-malaysia/malaysia-government-pleased-with-rare-earths-firm-lynas-plans-to-move-initial-ore-processing-ceo-idUSKCN1SU0WY

The chief executive of Australian rare earth metals producer Lynas Corp said on Friday that feedback from the Malaysian government relating to its plans to move initial ore processes out of the Southeast Asian nation has been favorable.

Lynas CEO Lacaze said the company has also submitted a proposal with two options for clearing out its current waste in Malaysia, which will require the approvals of the energy and environmental ministry.

Lynas said it could reuse the waste by processing it into a soil enhancer, as well as storing the waste in a permanent disposal facility.

This is good news for Lynas. Now, can the company and government come together to create a win win situation for both parties? Cleaning done in AUS and present waste housed in permanent storage, while also using a form of green sustainability with soil enhancer? The value of this stock will become more apparent if/when Lynas gets this anvil off its neck.

As a holder I am happy with the future production announcements (including the mention of recycling also being in Lynas' future). However, IMO the US/Blue Line MOU is particularly enticing (especially, in relation to the present strategic US China trade issues). Again, as stated in other posts I now regard this move by Lynas as a  potential proxy for the emergence of a RE sector in North America. 

Look e.g. at the RE Presentations 'page (https://rareearthsinvestor.com/re-presentations) for the interviews with N. American RE companies discussing the positive potential impact of the trade tariff action. Also, I wrote a brief (😃) outline of Alkane, Arafura and Northern Mins' company leaders comments from a Stockhead article this week. Interesting convergence and divergence in opinions (https://rareearthsinvestor.discussion.community/post/blog-comments-9886680?pid=1308647489)  

Quote 0 0
asrms


Found this good news

No more ground water pollution at Lynas area says minister

May 30, 2019

https://m.malaysiakini.com/news/478002

Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the groundwater around the Lynas refinery in Gebeng, Kuantan, is no longer polluted by heavy metals.

“The latest tests that were done around the Lynas area gave us negative readings of heavy metals.

“This was done by my department and we did not find anything that is polluting in that area,” he told reporters after he officiated a conservation event in Cyberjaya today...

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RVR

THE SUN DAILY Malaysia. 

28 MAY 2019

Waste can be turned into fertilizers: Lynas

PETALING JAYA: The waste produced by extracting rare earth metals from the ore need not go to waste after all, according to Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd. The company said the waste also contains phosphates, which is a component of fertilizers and can therefore provide the agriculture sector an alternative supply of the nutrients essential for plants.

Environmental activists, led by Bentong MP Wong Tack and Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh, have been fighting for more than a decade to get the company to ship the waste produced by the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Gebeng, Kuantan out of the country.

Prof Dr Ismail Bahari, the general manager in charge of radiation safety, regulations and compliance at Lynas, today said the residue, which is an iron phosphate, can be used as a fertilizer or soil conditioner. He gave an assurance that it contains a very low level of radioactive material, equivalent to naturally occurring levels of radioactivity.

“Radioactivity levels in water leached purification residue (WLP) is comparable with those found in phosphate rock and phosphates used as fertilizers. These have been used repeatedly in agriculture since it was first discovered,“ he pointed out.

He also highlighted data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia showing that in 2018, the country imported 357,531 tonnes of fertilizers at a cost of US$27 million (RM114.9 million). He added that if Lynas was permitted to converted its WLP residue into fertilizers, it could reduce the country’s dependence on imports. Lynas now holds an accumulated 450,000 tonnes of WLP

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asrms

Rare-Earths Waste | Lynas Proposes Disused Mines In Pahang To Build PDF

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rareearthsinvestor

Malaysia allows Lynas to continue operating rare earths plant, but only for six months

https://www.mining.com/malaysia-allows-lynas-to-continue-operating-rare-earths-plant-but-only-for-six-months/

 

Lynas hit with toxic tax, wins reprieve on radioactive waste

https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/lynas-hit-with-toxic-tax-wins-reprieve-on-radioactive-waste-20190625-p5213x.html 

 

Shameful day for Malaysia, says MP after Lynas gets nod to continue operations

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2019/08/15/shameful-day-for-malaysia-says-mp-after-lynas-gets-nod-to-continue-operations/  


The requirements are clearly doable. Lynas can find a permanent storage facility, build the cleaning plant in AUS within 4 years and not feel the new tax (really just a switch of cash focus here) the Malaysians want to impose. Again, simply a nation that wants to keep Lynas but needs to believe it has done and is seen to be holding the company's feet to the fire in the future. Again, just get on and do it! Lynas future is in its own hands and Chinese action is only likely to help the company confirm its ROW dominance. 
 

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rareearthsinvestor

Today’s news lot below is enough to make your head spin. It reminds me of the old saying – “she loves me, she loves me not; she loves me…” (if you're old enough you might remember this ðŸ˜Ã†Ãƒ¢â‚¬â„¢). The journalists are loving this with the stories they can write pitting one group against another in the never-ending saga of Lynas vs the Malaysian drama.

I think that the CEO  must be just shaking her head and getting on with business; her news release suggests this. Dr. M if you can believe the news below is putting a finger up in the wind and ‘judging’ the latest/loudest sentiment. Seems the admin' just can’t bring themselves to say ‘listen up all, it's over! Move on!’ This way they hope that the opposition momentum will eventually burn itself out (especially, in the news media) and nobody has to say categorically, ‘It’s done!  

The group of 7 can’t accept the inevitable as their egos are all at stake. Instead of saying Lynas is here to stay let's make sure we have the safest plant and storage available (and we will engage directly with Lynas to do this) they just continue with the rhetoric. It’s disappointing to watch.

Lynas rare earths plant is safe, assures Dr M

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2019/08/16/lynas-rare-earths-plant-is-safe-assures-dr-m/

7 Pahang DAP reps issue joint statement slamming cabinet over Lynas

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/488287

Environmental NGO questions Putrajaya’s requirements for Lynas

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2019/08/16/environmental-ngo-questions-putrajayas-requirements-for-lynas/

Govt to consider call to shut down Lynas, says Dr M

https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/08/513369/govt-consider-call-shut-down-lynas-says-dr-m

Balok residents breathe sigh of relief
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davesevier
If I am understanding this right, Lynas will be required to part with quite significant cash now,  will be forced to give further cash every year towards this from now on, move the waste to a "new storage site" which will means the waste facility will have to be built (expensive) and the existing waste moved (again expensive), and cease cracking of the REE concentrate in the current country and move operations to another country (which means building facilities to do this which will be more cash burned). The long term liabilites for the waste will remain. None of this is great news.

Let me put a clear alternative on the table. Our company has a process to clean up this waste. I believe it will cost quite a bit less than the current bond that Lynas have had to give up. Our process will save Lynas tens of millions of dollars. It will eliminate the waste liabilities because it produces clean saleable gypsum that can be sold to all markets as a premium product (it is very clean after our process). It would allow Lynas to continue cracking where they do now. The process will clean up the entire waste pile. There are no down side to our proposal. It is better and cheaper to clean up and get rid of the waste and liabilities. It will end Lynas being held to ransom.
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rareearthsinvestor

DS – I can understand the frustration re., having a process that would appear to offer potential economic and environmental benefits to this company yet,  others not seeming to recognize such advantages. Unfortunately, IMHO I think that for Lynas this is all now a political game (and has been for a long time). They are constrained by the requirements that the Malaysian admin’ are requiring of the company just to get the 6-month extension.

The admin' is even now I believe requiring Lynas to switch the R&D money they were putting into Condisoil and from now on placing that into another admin’ fund. The waste pile being moved and stored in a permanent facility is now for the Malaysians a goal that shows they are holding Lynas' feet to the fire along with moving cleaning to AUS.

Further, for the opposition (led by the gang of 7, etc) having lost re., closing Lynas, any failure to now meet the admin's 'new' set goals would mean they're again going to go 'hell for leather' to close the company in Malaysia (still threatening even now to go to court over this Lynas issue). So, any Lynas attempts to now say they have a different way to deal with this waste, which would be a more effective way to both stop waste production and negate storage needs, as well as making the cleaning in AUS moot, would be perceived in a very negative light (even potentially by Lynas' admin' supporters) and become yet another oppo' trigger/opportunity. 

Lynas has to push through this swamp (and the new admin' requirements give them a clear light at the end of the tunnel), even if this means not taking the most economical and environmentally friendly approaches; particularly to avoid giving their Malaysian opposition any further perceived catalysts that can trigger even more continued negative efforts. 

As an aside - it is interesting trying to get a hold on what is the actual level of opposition to Lynas in Malaysia. I have said in the past that IMHO it is more about a few voluble protagonists who have long opposed the company and whose egos are probably more at stake than other factors. However, today I looked at 3 YouTube videos from the last 3 days. It is interesting that the newest video of the Lynas CEO outlining the companies response to the Malaysian admin's requirements in 1 day got approx less than 200 views, while the two anti-Lynas videos over 3 days between them got close to 10,000 views?? A totally nonscientific approach to describing such opposition level, but food for thought. 

All MHO - GLTA  

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3,268 views (3 days)

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