Lynas face fierce opposition to rare earths export

 Lynas Corporation is facing opposition from Australian politicians and Malaysian green groups over the transport and processing of its rare earth ores.

Fremantle MP Adele Carles has called for a cessation of the transportation of rare earth ores through Fremantle due to potential radioactivity, according to The West.

Carles has claimed that these rare earths could be a possible danger to public health and safety.

However, Lynas say that transportation was approved by the Department of Environment and the Department of Health, and the ore is no more radioactive than the surrounding region.

West Australian transport minister Troy Buswell also refuted Carles claims, stating that “from the Government point of view, Lynas Corporation’s rare earth commodity has all of the approvals in place. All of the advice we have … is that it is a relatively inert product.

“Our view is the relevant authorities have put in place the relevant approvals.”

Carles refused to believe Buswell’s statements, saying “I’m not an expert on this, I don’t claim to be. But I want to see the EPA have a good look at this proposal from the Port of Fremantle as a residential port.

Carles has previously scuttled plans to use Fremantle Port as a bulk export point, when she blocked iron ore miner Cazaly Resources from using it.

She went on to say that it “looks like the Magellan experiment all over again”,  referring to when a miner was found to have lead carbonate outside of sealed bags at the Fremantle port.

The ore exported from Fremantle would be transported to Lynas’ processing plant, the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Malaysia.

The group Save Malaysia! Stop Lynas! (SMSL), which are against the construction and operation of the plant, have travelled to Australia to protest the export plans.

The group will be hosted by Adele Carles.

SMSL chairman Bun Teet Tan explained that “there is little political will in Malaysia to safeguard our safety and well being. We therefore hope that with the support of the good people of Fremantle and Perth, a green ban will be in place to stop Lynas from transporting and shipping ore concentrate to Malaysia,” 

Lynas’ LAMP was also recently investigated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) after fears were raised over it emitting potentially dangerous levels of radiation.

The IAEA found that the plant complied with radiation safety standards.


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