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Malaysian lawmakers back Lynas rare earths plant
KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 |
KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 (Reuters) - Malaysian lawmakers have asked the government to issue a temporary operating license for Lynas Corp's rare earths plant, favouring the Australian miner in lengthy environmental and safety disputes with local residents.
The move is set to clear the way for Lynas to operate the $800 million plant in east Malaysia that is seen as key in breaking China's grip on rare earths used in products ranging from Apple Inc's smartphones to Honda Motors' hybrid cars.
The 100-page report will be debated in parliament later on Tuesday although any objections or a possible walkout staged by opposition will do little to prevent the findings from being approved.
The recommendations of the parliamentary committee, dominated by MPs from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) party, come after Malaysia last week dismissed an appeal by residents to scrap the plant on concerns of radiation leakage.
($1 = 3.1575 Malaysian ringgit) (Reporting by Anuradha Raghu and Niluksi Koswanage; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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