Australia’s Lynas Corporation yesterday commissioned its controversial rare earth plant in Malaysia.
The first delivery of commercial rare earth product is expected in the next few weeks.
In a statement released yesterday Lynas said they have successfully begun cracking and leaching rare earth extraction units and production will continue to ramp up over the next three to four months.
“This is another significant milestone for Lynas,” said Lynas executive chairman Nicholas Curtis.
Following the announcement the company’s shares rose 14 per cent.
It was a good day for rare earth companies around the world yesterday with Molycorp and Great Western Minerals also seeing their share prices rise by 9.8 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.
At full production Molycorp, Lynas and Great Western are expected to end China's grip on the rare earth market of which China currently controls more than 95 per cent of the global supply, mining.com reported.
In November Australian Mining reported Lynas had received its first shipment of about 100 containers of rare earth concentrate at the Malaysian plant. At the time the company expected the first kiln feed to take place just a couple of days later.
However, the company has been embroiled in legal action launched by the Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas group which aimed to block Lynas from acquiring a temporary operating licence for the new facility.
“The safe and efficient operation of the LAMP is now a reality, and we are providing real-time data that assures people the LAMP is entirely safe for our local communities and the environment,” Curtis said.
Protests took place outside the company’s Sydney head office in November last year amid concerns from the Greens that radio active waste produced at the Malayasian plant would be shipped back to Australia.