Bloomberg Businessweek – Lynas Says Malaysia Rare-Earth Refinery Nearly Complete

November 30, 2011, 2:43 PM EST

By Elisabeth Behrmann

(Updates with closing share price in fifth paragraph.)

Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) — Lynas Corp., an Australian rare earths developer, said it’s near to completing its Malaysian refinery and will be ready to receive concentrate in the first quarter of 2012, pending regulatory approvals.

“We are in the final stages of the regulatory approvals process in Malaysia,” Nicholas Curtis, chairman of the Sydney- based company said today in a statement. “We have submitted all the requested documentation and the Malaysian Atomic Energy Licensing Board is now reviewing those documents ahead of making a decision.”

Malaysia imposed tighter environmental safety standards on the proposed plant in June following protests by local residents concerned about radiation. Shares in Lynas have dropped 39 percent since the June ruling, compared with the 13 percent decline in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index.

Once in production, the plant will provide an alternative source of rare earths to China, which currently produces more than 90 percent of global supply of the 17 chemically similar elements used in magnets, hybrid cars and iPods. China has restricted rare-earth mining and cut exports to conserve resources and protect the environment.

Lynas climbed 3 percent to A$1.215 at the close of trading in Sydney.

–Editors: Rebecca Keenan, Keith Gosman

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisabeth Behrmann in Sydney at ebehrmann1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rebecca Keenan at rkeenan5@bloomberg.net

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-11-30/lynas-says-malaysia-rare-earth-refinery-nearly-complete.html

中国报 – 廠房90%硬體工程完成 若獲執照1月投產

稀土廠風波

18/11/2011 17:59

稀土原料將從左邊貨倉以封閉式輸管送往提煉。

 

(關丹18日訊)萊納格賓稀土提煉廠近90%硬體工程已完成,一旦取得營運執照,明年1月間”投入”生產。

佔地100公畝的稀土提煉廠,第一階段廠房建設工程已完成90%,剩余的后續工程和道路建設完成后,正式宣告落成。

為了爭取營運執照,萊納公司據指先后向大馬原子能執照局,提呈5份更新廠房資料的報告,目前仍等待核準。

第一期廠房如于2012年啟用,第二期工程也將如火如荼地展開,以在2013年啟用。

萊納大馬董事經理拿督馬斯拉今早在該廠行政中心,召開匯報建廠工程進展記者會,出席者包括萊納總經理凱魯、財務經理楊德英、高級化學師鄭介敏、稀土廠工程經理黃世英、技術經理張兆兵等主管。

全力配合11附加條件

他在記者會說,公司不但盡全力迎合政府提出的11項附加條件,也努力研發更多稀土廢料利用商機,減少囤存廢料。

“我們(萊納)已盡所能做到最好,如今希望人民給予機會,讓我們證明,只要真正瞭解稀土,就知稀土提煉廠是無害的。”

他說,他們向來強調此廠並非高風險工業,設在廠內廢料槽是屬于臨時性,必要時將另尋合適地點建設永久性廢料槽。

“雖然是臨時槽,卻是依據規格建設,做足防溢漏系統等設備的工作,至少可囤放6年廢料。已在研發中的產品是石膏板(gypsum board)和一種術稱natural under flow的肥料。”

萊納願與組織交流

馬斯拉說,萊納不曾拒絕與反萊納聯盟、拯救大馬委員會”溝通”交流。

“萊納已做得比原定的多,目的只不過是希望該投資計劃能得到大眾的認同。”

他說,萊納很努力搞好與民眾關係,也開放接觸反對稀土廠、反對萊納單位,包括峇達居民組織及拯救大馬委員會成員。

“我們甚至開口邀約他們進廠參觀,聆聽匯報會及解答疑問,但對方始終都沒答覆。”

他強調,至于拯救大馬委員會提出的8項”附加條件”,是萊納不可能接受的。

大馬籍員工223名

此外,他透露,格賓提煉廠共有223名大馬籍員工,包括天然氣及原油領域的專才,以及具有15至20年從事稀土提煉經驗的4位中國專業技術人員。

“公司也聘用法國一家公司,為提煉廠定期維修,並進行區域內水源抽樣檢驗,收集各方面數據。”

廠內關丹縣裝空氣探測器

馬斯拉說,第一台氣務式環境輻射監督系統的空氣探測器,已安裝在提煉廠內,第2台探測器將安裝在關丹縣警區範圍內。

“所有探測器都有電子數據板,公開空氣中輻射含量,讓民眾可隨時一目了然。”

他說,兩台總值140萬令吉的空氣探測器數據,也直接傳達到駐廠的監管中心及大馬原子能執照局總部,民眾也可登錄官方網站監督。

他也說,公司非常重視員工健康安全,若發現員工接觸的輻射達3毫希(mSv),即刻將他們調離工廠,以免加重輻射。

“稀土是無害,但在不同的環境及因素影響下,無人能保證100%安全,基本上提煉廠發出的輻射量每年平均是0.002毫希的輻射,遠比人體每年不應攝取超過20毫希的輻射更低。”

http://www.chinapress.com.my/node/269777

Australian Mining – LYNAS FACING LEGAL ACTION OVER MALAWI RARE EARTHS

Mining Australia

News

By Andrew Duffy on 17 November 2011

 

South African geologist Michael Saner has given Lynas Corporation until today to recognise his Malawi rare earth claim or face legal action.

Saner claims the Kangankunde tenements in Malawi, potentially worth billions and currently owned by Lynas, belong to him and he has orders from the High Court to prove it.

But Lynas claims the Malawi Government recognises it as “the registered legal owner” of the project.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald Saner claims Lynas flew him to Sydney in 2008 and offered him up to $US500,000 to drop his claim on the project.

He also claims Lynas was aware of a High Court ruling deeming him the holder of the tenements in 2008.

He says the company has copies of orders detailing his ownership.

According to Lynas Saner previously owned an exploration licence for the tenements but his claim expired.

The company said it bought the project in 2007 from a different party, not Saner, and acquired a mining licence after a series of Government approvals.

It says Saner’s claims are between him and the Malawi Government and the company is currently not a party to the dispute.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Saner claim Lynas’ ASX announcement last week advising investors about the Malawi dispute “appears to be misleading”.

Lynas has so far made no comment on the matter and says the argument is one between Saner and the Malawi Government.

http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/lynas-facing-legal-action-over-malawi-rare-earths

Free Malaysia Today – KL folks ain’t singing the Lynas blues

Patrick Lee | November 16, 2011

The city dwellers feel that it is not their problem cause the plant is in Kuantan. The Malay media also appears not to care.

VIDEO INSIDE

KUALA LUMPUR: Those living in the nation’s capital and the Malay media appear not to care about the controversial Lynas rare earth plant in Kuantan, Pahang.

According to independent filmmaker group “Survivial Guide Untuk Kampong Radioaktif”, Kuala Lumpur residents think that Lynas is a Kuantan matter and therefore of no importance to them.

The group’s producer Chua Thien See told FMT: “When we talk to people in KL, they will say it is only a Kuantan issue. But Lynas is a Malaysian problem.”

However, she has no explanation why the Malay mainstream media is reluctant to cover anything that is considered not Lynas-friendly.

“The Malay press does not cover the Lynas issue. We have sent invites (to them) to cover our press conferences, but they never show up,” she said.

Because of this, Chua added, the majority of the Malay community remain in the dark about the controversy.

Some of these events include the ongoing release of Kampong Radioaktif’s short films, which poke fun at a world affected by radiation.

The films are a response to the Australian mining giant Lynas Corporation Ltd’s plant, which may see operations commence by 2012.

Some residents in the area fear that the running of the plant may see a repeat of the 1987 Bukit Merah disaster, where a leak resulted in cases of leukaemia, followed by seven deaths.

Today, the Bukit Merah refinery is undergoing a clean-up process worth RM300 million.

Awareness through laughter

The group has so far released one film on YouTube, entitled “Masakan Cinta”. It stars Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh as a TV chef who attempts to cook a non-radioactive meal for her guests.

According to their Facebook page, the group plans to release three more videos on YouTube (Orang Minyak XX, Welcome to Kampong Radioaktif and Lai Kwan’s Love) at 10pm over the next three Sundays.

Chua told FMT that the films – produced on a pro bono basis – were done as comedies to avoid coming across as being “didactic or preachy”.

“We have to create awareness and make them laugh, then maybe they’ll realise that its not a laughing matter,” she said.

After the last video is released, Chua said the group is planning to conduct a “tour” where the videos will be shown to the public, especially the rural Malay community.

“We’re going to have to go to the Felda-controlled people and into the villages,” she said.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/11/16/kl-folks-aint-singing-the-lynas-blues/

南洋网 – 明年4月输出制成品 稀土厂年杪操作

全国

2011-11-15 18:54


沙尼扎

(关丹15日讯)莱纳斯稀土厂公关部执行员沙尼扎透露,若无”意外”,该公司将在年秒12月投入运作,明年4月正式开始输出制成品。

他向《南洋商报》透露,该厂依然在施工中,管理层依据政府制定的条例行事。

无论如何,该厂至今仍未获得营运准证。

据了解,外资投资者或代表频频前来视察稀土厂施工进度,昨天,有43名股东乘冷气巴士进入稀土厂巡视。

沙尼扎说:”股东及顾客巡视稀土厂是例常之事,包括来自日本的投资者。”

他说,稀土原料并未从澳洲维尔德山运来大马,”依据一般程序,未经提炼的稀土原料运到时,提炼前必须经过筛选及测试,然后才提炼。”

“我们脚踏着的泥土,都有具辐射性的’钍’(Thorium),莱纳斯有限公司只是把稀土原料提炼成制成品,供各领域作为原料。

Translation:

(Nanyang Siang Pau dated 15th November 2011) Lynas rare earth refinery plant PR executive Shariza said, if nothing goes wrong, the plant will be in operation in December, and will start exporting finished goods by April next year.

He told “Nanyang Siang Pau” the plant is still in the construction, the management acts according to the regulations required by the government.

However, the plant has yet to obtain the operating license.

It is understood that foreign investors or their representatives frequently visit the rare earth refinery plant to inspect the construction schedule. Yesterday, there were 43 shareholders visited the plant by air-conditioned bus to make a tour of inspection.

Shariza said: “it’s common for shareholders and customers to do routine inspection, including the investors from Japan.”

He said the rare earth materials has yet to transport from Australia Mt. Weld to Malaysia, “according to general procedure, unrefined rare earth raw materials must be selected and tested during arrival, before refining into finished goods.”

“The soil beneath our feet also has the radioactive thorium, and Lynas Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. just refines the rare earth raw materials into finished products, by supplying them to various fields as material.”

http://www.nanyang.com.my/node/398508?tid=460

星洲日報 – 稀土廠事件要求2人減薪‧傅芝雅動議被議長駁回

國內

2011-11-15 09:08

(吉隆坡14日訊)國會下議院議長丹斯里班迪卡指出,由於太多國會議員濫用議會常規66(9)條文提呈減薪動議,他衡量了所有例子和法律後,決定首開先例駁回有關動議。

關丹國會議員傅芝雅今日在2012年財政預算委員會階段表示,她日前針對萊納稀土廠計劃,動議科藝部長拿督斯里麥西慕減薪1個月,以及原子能執照局(AELB)總監拿督阿都阿茲減薪10令吉,卻被議長駁回,她因此要議長說出駁回動議的理由。

她表示,援引議會常規66(9)條文提呈減薪動議,而有關動議不應被駁回,因為這是議員的權利,可是此動議卻史無前例地被駁回。

“我被指曾經提呈有關動議而被駁回,但我根本沒有提呈過相關動議,這是(議長)錯誤的決定,所以我要求解釋。”

http://www.sinchew.com.my/node/226781

The Age – Business Day – Lynas under fire for Malawi claim

November 14, 2011

ETP Update etp.pemandu.gov.my

Catch the latest progress of the ETP. Watch the replay here.

Founder ... the executive chairman of Lynas, Nick Curtis.Founder … the executive chairman of Lynas, Nick Curtis.?Photo: AP

IN AUGUST 2008, the high-flying Lynas Corporation offered to pay $US500,000 to a South African geologist, Michael Saner, if Saner would drop his claim over a rare earths deposit in Malawi.

That’s according to Saner. Citing a confidentiality agreement, Lynas has declined to comment.

Lynas had already told the market that it had ”acquired” this rare earths resource a year earlier, in September 2007.

Fast forward three years. Although Saner never relinquished his claim, and has a Malawi High Court order stating the rights to this deposit cannot go to anybody else, it was only last Thursday that Lynas finally disclosed, and even then rather cryptically, that the ownership of its Malawi asset might be in dispute.

In 2008, Lynas, a ”market darling” of the resources sector, was taking off.

The vision of its founder, Nick Curtis, to become a global player in rare earths had already enticed the likes of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and the Capital Group to the share register.

Privately, Curtis’s backers were already ascribing billion-dollar values to the company and the rare earths deposit at Mount Weld in Western Australia.

And there was more blue sky still. Curtis and his corporate wingman, Dr Matthew James, had put their foot on a rich rare earths deposit in the landlocked African republic of Malawi.

The rub was that, according to the highest legal authority in Malawi, this Kangankunde (KGK) prospect didn’t actually belong to them. Enter Michael Saner.

At a meeting in Lynas’s Sydney offices on August 21, 2008, the South African geologist explained to James, Lynas’s counsel, Andrew Arnold, geologist Matthew Edler and Curtis – who got to the meeting later – how the transfer of the KGK licence had not been legal.

Saner says he showed the Lynas executives an order from the High Court of Blantyre in 2006 which prohibited the issue of any mining rights over KGK to anyone except Saner himself.

He went on to explain to them how Lynas had acquired its ”rights” from a Malawian furniture entrepreneur Tony Patel, who held them illegally.

Then, according to Saner, who spoke to BusinessDay over the weekend, Lynas offered to pay him $US350,000 and then $US500,000 if he would relinquish his High Court claim over the KGK tenements.

Saner refused. The dispute is now subject to letters flying back and forth between London law firm Mishcon de Reya, which acts for Saner, and Clifford Chance, for Lynas.

There is another party in the fray, the London geologist and chairman and chief executive of Anglo-African Minerals, Michael Smith.

Smith and his colleagues are minority shareholders in Saner’s Rift Valley Resource Development.

For its part, Lynas has a more powerful ally, at least for the moment. That is the Malawi government.

Before announcing the Malawi licence in September 2007, the Minister of Mines flew to Australia to visit Lynas.

Moreover, the man who sold them the ”rights” to KGK, Patel, is closely associated with the previous president of the republic, Bakili Muluzi.

The government has so far ignored the orders of its High Court and has not reinstated Saner’s EPL (exclusive prospecting right) over the deposit. It remains in court.

The Malawi Ministry of Mines had issued a mining licence to Patel in May 2003, although Patel never held an EPL. Three years later, Patel sold the ”rights” to Lynas.

For Malawi itself – a country bisected from north to south by the Great Rift Valley, this deal is a national headache. Although it desperately needs foreign capital, it also needs to project the rule of law to attract exploration and investment.

The contretemps between Saner and Lynas are also a rift between the legislative and executive arms of the government. Again in 2010 the High Court upheld Saner’s rights to KGK by granting an injunction against the Malawian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs.

That injunction prohibits the granting of a mineral rights licence for KGK to any party other than Saner. It grants him costs, too. Saner was first awarded the rights to KGK in 2000.

Saner says Lynas knew about the legal dispute over the tenements from July 2008. Lynas is not party to any action.

A spokesman for Lynas said it could not respond to questions about what it knew at what time, or of any details of the August 2007 meeting, as it was bound by a confidentiality agreement.

http://www.theage.com.au/business/lynas-under-fire-for-malawi-claim-20111113-1ndrh.html#ixzz1dcp8AszP

Free Malaysia Today – MP cooks a bizarre ‘Lynas’ dinner

Patrick Lee | November 14, 2011

If two-headed chickens and zebra-striped bananas tantalize your tastebuds, then check out what Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh is cooking on Youtube.

VIDEO INSIDE

PETALING JAYA: A short and dark comedy about the controverstal Lynas plant has been posted on YouTube and stars none other than its chief opponent Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh.

Entitled “Masakan Cinta (Love Dish)”, the 4:44-minute comedy sees the PKR leader playing the role of “Chef Wani”, a friendly TV chef who goes out of her way to cut out radiation from her cooking ingredients.

“This morning, I went to the wet market, and got all these fresh ingredients for our special dinner tonight… Here, we have free range village chicken,” she says, before pointing to a two-headed, three-legged bird.

Most of the cooking material on “Chef Wani’s” table also appear to have been mutated by radiation, including a squid with a fish head, prawns with elongated tentacles and zebra-striped bananas.

She then tells the camera that special cooking tools are needed to remove the “dangerous radiation” from the food, and brings out a chopper, peeler and hacksaw.

“Watch closely how I gut out all the dangerous parts of this chicken,” Chef Wani says, before she beats the carcass with her rolling pin, and saws it apart, guts and all.

Accompanied by cheery background music, she also saws a goat’s head and crushes the bananas into pulp.

“This carrot, we have to get rid of all the radioactive bits from it, if not, we cannot eat. We need to get rid of the thorium, uranium, mutanium, monsterium, lukemium.”

“Anything that ends with an ‘ium’ we have to get rid of before we eat,” she adds.

Eventually, Chef Wani groups the “radioactive” bits into a pile and pushes it off the table. She then sets about to cook, and serves the end result – five black specks – to her guests.

She also serves her confused dinner guests – which include Subang MP R Sivarasa- with a strange looking cordial.

Creating awareness

Speaking to FMT, Fuziah said the film is the first in a series entitled “Survival Guide Untuk Kampong Radioaktif”.

“The producers wanted to use comedy as a means to start some awareness about Lynas and hope to create some interest (within the public) about finding out about Lynas,” she added.

Fuziah was referring to the controversial rare earth plant operated by Australian mining giant Lynas Corporation Ltd in Gebeng, near Kuantan.

Critics of the plant have denounced it as a radiation leak risk, especially with operations due to commence by 2012.

Some residents in the area fear that the running of the plant may see a repeat of the 1987 Bukit Merah disaster, where a leak resulted in cases of leukaemia, followed by seven deaths.

Today, the Bukit Merah refinery is undergoing a clean-up process worth RM300 million.

The Kuantan MP said there is not enough awareness over Lynas. “There is an interest, but a lot of people depend on hearsay. Especially with the Malay community who only have access to the mainstream media,” she added.

She also explained that “Masakan Cinta” was made on a pro-bono basis.

“Initially, I wasn’t keen on acting, because people can misinterpret the film, and then use it to spin and discredit me.

“But it’s a comedy, and everything in it is overexaggerated. The idea (behind it), is to go through so much pain for your guests,” Fuziah said with a laugh.

According to its Facebook page, “Survival Guide Untuk Kampong Radioaktif” consists of four short parodies “set in a fictional world where radioactive activities have all gone wrong”.

The next three short films are expected to be released in the near future. For more information on the films, visit its Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/kampongradioaktif.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/11/14/mp-cooks-a-bizzare-lynas-dinner/

光明日報 – 《輻射村求生手冊》吊胃口‧4短片分週上載Youtube

2011-11-11 19:51

傅芝雅在《美食饗宴》中飾演一名正在準備佳餚款待親友的廚師Chef Wani,她必須把受到輻射污染的?角長介蘭花的羊頭?除去?輻射?,純熟演技令人贊嘆。

(雪蘭莪‧八打靈再也11日訊)由陳翠梅導演發起的《輻射村求生手冊》系列短片於週四舉行首映會後,引起網民熱烈討論。4部短片原訂首映會後即上載至網上供網民傳閱,不過,製作單位最終決定分週上載到Youtube,吊足影迷的胃口。

《輻射村求生手冊》製作人之一的傅慧齡週四在首映會後透露,4部短片將在週四晚或週五上載到互聯網,但是,短片發放的詳情還不確定。

正當民眾都在期待短片的播出後,《輻射村求生手冊》在面子書的專頁週五發佈4部短片分週在Youtube”上映”的消息。首部”上映”的短片是由胡明進執導的《美食饗宴》(Love Dish),播映日是在本週日(13日)晚上10時。

《美食饗宴》是4部系列短片的開場影片,由關丹區國會議員傅芝雅主演,她在片中飾演一名正在準備佳餚款待親友的廚師Chef Wani,所需的食材全受到輻射污染,如”三腳二頭雞”、”角長介蘭花的羊頭”、”魚頭墨魚身”等,她必須使用特別工具除去”輻射”。

梳邦區國會議員西華拉沙、劉城達導演等也在片中插上一腳,飾演準備享用美食的賓客。

另3部由楊俊漢執導的《油鬼X X》、劉城達執導的《歡迎光臨輻射村》及陳翠梅執導的《黎群的愛》紀錄片分別在11月20日、11月27日及12月4日同樣時間在Youtube?上映?。

詳情可瀏覽面子書專頁?Survival Guide Untuk Kampong Radioaktif?或Youtube網站www.youtube.com/user/Kampongradioaktif

另外,製作單位歡迎公眾和團體舉辦播映會分享心得,可聯絡製作單位索取短片。

《輻射村求生手冊》短片播出日期

1. 美食饗宴(Love Dish)
導演:胡明進
播出日期(10pm):13.11.2011

2. 油鬼XX(Orang Minyak XX)
導演:楊俊漢
播出日期(10pm):20.11.2011

3. 歡迎光臨輻射村(Welcome to Kampung Radioactive )
導演:劉城達
播出日期(10pm):27.11.2011

4.黎群的愛(Lai Kwan’s Love)
導演:陳翠梅
播出日期(10pm):04.12.2011(光明日報)

http://www.guangming.com.my/node/118270