“Start LYNAS Today.” Campaign Initiated by RareMetalBlog: LYNAS Goes on Offense with Legal Action Against Protest Groups

This morning several news sources are reporting updates to recent news that Lynas Corporation Ltd. (ASX: LYC) and its Malaysian operating subsidiary Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd have filed defamation suits against two anti-Lynas groups – Free Malaysia Today and Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas. Vowing to “shut down” these groups, two separate suits were filed in the Civil High Court Registry on April 19, 2012.

Lynas’ CEO, Nick Curtis, commented that recent claims by these groups had crossed the line between debate and defamation. He added that “The specific comments we won’t go into but they are, in our opinion and our legal opinion, targeted and defamatory and those comments should be shut down.”

I agree.

The quick synopsis of events is that these groups have been rallying opposition against Lynas’ Advanced Materials Processing Plant (LAMP) facility in Malaysia citing health and safety concerns for local residents. In the same effort, they have also published defamatory articles on the issue. At the forefront of these actions has been the granting and subsequent appeal of the temporary operating licence for the LAMP facility. The issue is currently pending with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

In the first suit, Lynas named MToday News Sdn Bhd as the defendant. In the second suit Lynas named SMSL Sdn Bhd (Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas) and its two directors, Tan Bun Teet and Lim Sow Teow, as the defendants. Lynas is seeking general damages and aggravated damages, costs and an injunction to restrain defendants from publishing further defamatory articles about Lynas and its rare earth processing facility in Malaysia.

Lynas has actively been dispelling various misconceptions that have been incorrectly associated with its LAMP facility despite the fact that the LAMP facility has been approved by the Malaysia’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board and the Atomic International Atomic Energy Agency.

SMSL’s counsel, Datuk Bastion Pius Vendargon, commented that an ex-parte (one-side) injunction application by Lynas to restrain the defendants from further publishing defamatory articles on Lynas was scheduled to be heard today but that the court granted SMSL’s application for the injunction to be heard with both parties. On May 9 for case management for parties will take place to finalise the affidavit and documents pertaining to the injunction application. After that the court will set a date to hear the injunction request.

Lynas strategically selected Malaysia at its preferred location for the LAMP facility for the following reasons:

  • Well established industrial land and infrastructure
  • Access to high grade chemical reagents
  • Good port facilities; reliable utilities
  • A clear legal framework, standards and regulations
  • Skilled, technical workforce
  • Government with a stated vision for value added industry

Tired of the propoganda and misinformation on rare earths, and a BIG supporter of LYNAS opening their 95% completed processing facility — that will provide us with an alternative rare earth supply choice, I have decided to start my own social media campaign. Along with this, we will create a petition to get this facility opened immediately and end this rhetoric. We are calling our pro-industry campaign: Start LYNAS Today. We will start a Facebook and Twitter account immediately, along with a site for the petition for ourselves and you to sign and add the links below by end of today.

Disclaimer: Lynas Corporation Ltd. is a sponsor of RareMetalBlog. Lynas was not involved with the launch of this social media initiative or the petition on their behalf. This was the idea of our team. For more information, write info@pro-edge.com.