Lynas secures rare earth funding [updated]

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[Updated] Lynas Corporation has secured an additional $US225 million in funding to cover the rising costs of its rare earths facility in Malaysia.

In a statement to the ASX Lynas said it had struck a deal for US-based investment firm Mount Kellett Capital Management to join as a shareholder in the company.

It said it expected first production from its processing plant in Malaysia to come online in the second quarter of this year instead of the first quarter it had initially advised.

Lynas is still waiting on the Malaysian Government to award it a pre-operating licence for its rare earths processing plant in Kuantan.

[Update] Yesterday marked the final day for public comment on the Lynas application for a pre-operational licence at its Malaysian plant.

Protest groups Save Malaysia Stop Lynas and Stop Lynas Coalition delivered a joint submission to Malaysia’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and Atomic Energy Licensing Board urging the Government to reject the application.

SMSL chairperson Tan Bun Teet said in a statement the waste management plan proposed in Lynas’ application was "full of holes and totally unsafe".

He said the local economy and health of locals would be "severely affected" if the plant was approved.

He also said SMSL and SLC had raised funds and would launch a legal challenge if the Government approved the licence.

“We hope the Government will seriously consider the comments and suggestions presented through the submissions," he said. 

"Otherwise, we will have no choice but to take the matter to the court.”

Lynas has said previously that for residents in the Kuantan area there would be zero exposure to radiation.

It also says any exposure to water contamination is expected to be negligible because all liquids would be processed safely before their disposal.

Analysts from Foster Stockbroking today reiterated their previous prediction that Government approval for Lynas was imminent.

"The AELB will meet on January 30, 2012 for a decision on the Lynas temporary licence," they said.

"We do not discount a favourable result and a decision (expected to be positive) from the Malaysian Cabinet shortly after (likely less than a week)."