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Rare earths miner Lynas secures Malaysian site for waste treatment

FILE PHOTO: A truck carrying rare earths travels towards Lynas Corp's Mount Weld processing plant, northeast of Perth, in Western Australia, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23. REUTERS/Melanie Burton/File Photo

(Reuters) - Australia’s Lynas Corp Ltd said on Thursday the Malaysian state of Pahang had approved a permanent disposal site for waste treatment, fulfilling one of the key conditions for continuing its operations in the country.

Lynas, the only major proven producer of rare earths outside China, added that Gading Senggara Sdn Bhd has been appointed as the contractor to manage the project for $98 million.

In August last year, Malaysia renewed the operating licence for Lynas’ processing plant for six months with new conditions including the identification of a site for a permanent facility to store its low-level radioactive waste.

The Atomic Energy Licensing Board, an agency under the Malaysia’s environment ministry, asked Lynas to present a plan to set up a cracking and leaching facility overseas within four years of the licence renewal.

Last week, Lynas said it was on track to get its processing license renewal in March.

Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans