It won't be long before the controversial rare earths processing plant of Australian miner Lynas Corp. goes full blast in Malaysia even if protesters are sure to mount various objections to challenge its eventual kick-off, after the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) ruled out the appeal of locals against the temporary operating license (TOL) earlier issued in January by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB), saying on late Friday it found no conclusive evidence to further block the license.
Opponents to the controversial Lynas rare earths processing plant in Malaysia now clamored for the resignation of the four ministers who approved the awarding of the temporary operating license (TOL) to Australian miner Lynas Corp, after the latter denied the existence of a provision in its license which states that the plant's residue must be shipped out of Malaysia.
This, as Malaysian lawmakers gear to tackle in Parliament tomorrow, Tuesday, the report of the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) on the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) project, thestar.com.my reported.
The Malaysian news agency reported the PSC bore contained 30 findings and recommendations following series of public hearings on the project held in Kuantan on May 10 and 11, with the final session held in Parliament House on May 21.
"After giving due consideration to all the evidence presented at the hearing on the issues raised by the Appellants, the minister (Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili) has decided that there was no strong justification nor scientific or technical basis for him to set aside the decision of the AELB," MOSTI said in a statement.
"Besides, the issues raised by the Appellants had already been given due consideration by the AELB in granting the TOL," the statement added.
The MOSTI, however, imposed two new additional conditions, on top of an existing five, on Lynas Corp. before the TOL can be finally released to the rare earths miner. The new conditions required Lynas Corp. to submit to the AELB a plan on how to immobilize radioactive elements in the rare earths residue to be disposed in the event of excessive residue is store in the Residue Storage Facility (RSF) as well as submit an Emergency Response Plan to control the release of dust from the residue into the air and the environment, the ministry said in a statement.
Only until all seven requirements are met that the license will finally land on Lynas Corp.'s hands for its LAMP in Gebeng, Kuantan, Malaysia.
"The TOL shall only be issued by the AELB once Lynas Corp. had complied with all the stipulated conditions, including the two additional conditions," the statement said.
As expected, opponents of the $200 million worth rare earths processing plant led by the anti-Lynas group, Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL), will elevate the TOL challenge to the Higher Court, The Australian reported.
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