In a huge setback for opponents of Lynas’ rare earths separation plant in Malaysia, the Malaysian High Court in the capital Kuala Lumpur last week declined to take up their request for judicial review. While the decision was largely technical and procedural, citing the Malaysian government review of the temporary licence currently underway, that government review is unlikely to find any grounds to stop the temporary licence going into effect.
In the absence of showing malfeasance in that government review, a highly unlikely prospect, the Malaysian High Court is unlikely to take up any new filing for a new judicial review after the government’s review is complete. While it might not quite be game, set, and match to Lynas, the government has still to complete its review, it appears to this observer in faraway London, that Lynas is playing the match winning point. Lynas is on the verge of becoming second to market for non-Chinese REE supply. Our REE sector is soon to be changing.
Malaysia court rebuffs challenge to rare earths plant
KUALA LUMPUR — A Malaysian court has dismissed a bid to stop a rare earths plant run by Australian miner Lynas from going online over fears it will harm the environment by producing radioactive pollution.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court on Thursday declined to hear a challenge against the plant, which is due to start production soon in eastern Pahang state.
Lynas intends to process rare earths — elements used in such products as smart phones, wind turbines and missiles — imported from Australia.
But Lynas’ plans have proved a stumbling point for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government ahead of elections expected to be held soon as thousands have protested against the facility.
The government will next week review its decision in February to approve a temporary operating license for the plant, but activists and opposition leaders had hoped for the courts to step in.
Siding with the Malaysian government and Lynas lawyers, the court ruled the application by 10 Pahang residents to halt the plant was premature with the government review still pending.