MORE CHALLENGES: Lynas must get premises licence from Kuantan Municipal Council and full operating licence from the Atomic Energy Licensing Board
PUTRAJAYA : THERE are still two hurdles for the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) to cross before it can make its mark in Malaysia. This is apart from the two additional conditions set by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili for the company to be given a temporary operating licence.
The Class A TOL only allows Lamp to process limited lanthanide concentrates in stages, and they would need to adhere to all the licensing requirements imposed in the TOL which would be the base for licence approval.
"The temporary licence does not give them the power to fully erect their buildings and continue with their operations.
"They still have to acquire two more licences from the government," said a source close to the authorities in the matter.
Once LAMP has cleared all the requirements set by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB), they would have to get the premises licence from the Kuantan Municipal Council to start building factories.
"The last challenge would be to get the full operating licence from AELB," said the source, adding that it would only be issued once each of the conditions are met, including approval from the Department of Environment and the ministry.
The process will then be repeated and monitored to ensure that the company continues its standards and procedures.
"They will continually be assessed on their management and response system, especially on the residue and how it is handled.
"There is no deadline for the company, and AELB will take six months or less to make an assessment on whether the rules have been followed," said the source.
Meanwhile, Hulu Langat member of parliament Dr Che Rosli Che Mat said yesterday Pas would agree with LAMP if safety issues raised by the public were addressed satisfactorily.
Speaking at Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur together with Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad and Kuala Selangor MP Dr Dzulkifly Ahmad, he said the main issue was the storage and disposal of waste material from the plant.
Che Rosli said although the external radiation from thorium was low, the issue was the internal radiation if the substance found its way to the human food chain.
He said Lynas should set up a lab scale of the plant and study its residue impact.
Che Rosli said LAMP would be safe if all issues regarding safety were handled well.
Meanwhile, Lynas Corporation Ltd, the Australian rare earth firm behind LAMP, said it was committed to operating in a safe and sustainable manner.
Bernama reported that in a statement yesterday, Lynas executive chairman Nicholas Curtis said throughout its time in Malaysia, the company had worked to be completely transparent, and to provide full and comprehensive details about every aspect of its operations to satisfy government and community concerns.
"We welcome the PSC report," Curtis said, adding that Lynas was also committed to making significant ongoing contributions to Malaysia.