Lynas rare earths plant awards construction contract

Lynas Corporation has signed a Letter of Award with Toyo-Thai for the construction of its rare earth plant in Malaysia.

The award consist of engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning assistance for phase 2 of the expansion of the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP).

Valued at between US$180 million and US$210 million, the expansion will increase the LAMP capacity to around 22 000 tonnes REO per annum.

Phase 2 construction is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Lynas was recently told to increase its safety measures at the rare earths refinery following an investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The IAEA carried out a study to determine whether the plant emitted unsafe levels of radiation.

It found that the plant complied with radiation safety standards, but did need to improve regulations on the site.

The miner was also required to provide the public with a greater understanding on radiation safety and the proposed works at the plant, the IAEA saying it "should intensify it communication with interested and affected parties in order to demonstrate how it ensure the radiological safety of the public and the environment".

The miner has also hit out at the New York Times.

In an article by the Times, it claimed that the plant has comprised safety standards in its construction.

Lynas stated that it "will never comprise on these standards or required specifications versus cost savings".

The miner added that its design and construction have been implemented in accordance with international standings.

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