Lynas TOL terms to go public?

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 13, 2012): The government has yet to decide whether to make public the terms of the temporary operating licence (TOL) given to Lynas Corporation, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili.

"It has not been brought to our attention, so we haven't considered the need to make it public," he told reporters after attending a closed-door meeting today.

He declined further comment.

Meanwhile, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said Lynas should ensure the radioactivity level found in its waste after processing the rare earth is at a minimum.

"If the radioactivity exceeds 1 Becquerel of radiation per gram (Bq/g), it should be exported. How it is to be exported is Lynas's problem," he said in a video statement today.

He said the idea to reprocess the waste into non-radioactive substance and used locally should be tested before it is implemented.

There has been much confusion over the terms imposed by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) on Lynas for the TOL, one of which is the company's responsibility to ship off radioactive wastes produced by its refinery in Gebeng, Pahang.

Ongkili, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Unggah Embas have, in a joint statement, said Lynas had been told to ship all the residue generated from its rare earth plant before it was issued the TOL.

"Should Lynas fail to comply with this condition, the AELB is empowered to suspend or revoke the TOL and order Lynas to immediately cease operation," the statement read.

However, Lynas executive chairman Nicholas Curtis told the Wall Street Journal on Monday that shipping the waste out was not part of the TOL.