By Debra Chong
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 – Lynas Corp has been forced to delay its rare earth production at its controversial plant in Pahang to 2012, according to Australia’s national news agency.
Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported today the Sydney-based miner was being set back by final procurement packages tied to its construction and contractor delays that meant the refinery will only come on line during the first half of 2012.
It had previously expected to be able to ship out its first output by the first quarter of 2012.
“Subject to the receipt of the pre-operational licence, Lynas confirms its expectation to be in commercial supply during H1 2012,” Lynas was quoted as saying in a statement today.
The RM700 million Lynas Advanced Materials Plant in Kuantan was scheduled to be complete last month and start up pre-operations by year end.
According to AAP, the plant is only 78 per cent complete as at the end of September.
Malaysia’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) maintains it has yet to issue any licence to Lynas to start up production.
The radiation industry’s regulator has yet to approve the refinery based on a comprehensive, long-term and detailed plan for waste management that covers decommissioning and remediation.
The Australian company’s plant has stirred much furore among local residents who threatened earlier this month to hold a sit-in in front of the factory.