The Truth About Lynas – Part 2
By: Melinda Mazhar
FACTS AND FALLACIES OF LYNAS – PART 2
|Allegations by Oppositions:
|Lynas brings no benefits to Malaysia and Kuantan||FDI value of RM2.3 billion with annual OPEX of RM600 million. Total contracts for Malaysian contractors is RM1,168 million of which RM513 million is for Kuantan contractors.
Employment opportunities with Lynas stands at 350 direct employees, 300 contract staff and 1000 indirect employees through supporting industries.
Potential downstream industry, Siemen – Lynas JV employment for 1200.
|The residue will be stored permanently at the site.||No residue will be stored permanently on-site. Even though the RSF is a temporary storage facility it was designed and built to international standards of permanent storage facility.|
|Lunas produce 32000 ton of WLP per year with 0.165% Thorium ie. 50 ton of Thorium per year.||Lynas operation is neither extracting nor concentrating the thorium content. Although the volume is large the concentration remains the same.|
|Lynas declares the residue as non-radioactive based on China standard of 74 bq/g||Lynas has declared to the AELB that its raw material and WLP contain low level naturally occurring radionuclides, from the very beginning. Lynas has and will comply to Malaysia and international safety standards.|
|Australia requires waste to be returned to mine.||No such law in Australia. Waste will be stored in accordance with Malaysia’s regulatory requirements.|
|Lynas Malaysia is managed by Australians.||Lynas Malaysia is fully manned and managed by Malaysians with five rare Earth experts from China and India.|
Beneficiating WLP Residue
Lynas started R&D to commercialize the application of WLP residue since 2009, with international and national organizations. Eg. ENTECH (Australia) – ANSTO, SGS, Lakefield Ore Test (Australia), Australia Radiological Services (ARS), HAZMAT Service Pte Ltd. (Australia), IKRM, Physialia (UK), SIRIM.
Lynas has successfully:
- established a method to reduce the radioactivity concentration from 6Bq/g to below the 1Bq/g (limit set by AELB)
- Made WLP non leachable and non toxic
a. has successfully treated WLP residue with chemical immobilizer and stabilizer.
b. toxicocity testing involved EC50 Dafnia sp acute immobilization test.
- To be used as hard-core based for road construction and car park (this is also recommended by the UK’s Health Protection Agency)