May 13, 2011

Fresh protests as focus turns to Lynas’ radioactive dump

The backlash against Lynas' controversial plans to process radioactive rare earths 3000km from its Mount Weld mine has kicked up a notch, with locals planning fresh protests and the Australian media finally cottoning onto the stoush.

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

The Malaysian backlash against Lynas Corporation’s controversial plans to process radioactive rare earth residue 3000km from its Mount Weld mine has kicked up a notch, with locals planning fresh protests and the Australian media finally cottoning onto the stoush that has the potential to send the ASX darling’s share price into freefall.

A new wave of protests against the the Lynas plant by the Democratic Action Party are planned for Sunday in Gebeng, Pahang, where CEO Nick Curtis is forging ahead with the $205 million offshore refinery despite growing community concerns over the radioactivity of by-product thorium.

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2 thoughts on “Fresh protests as focus turns to Lynas’ radioactive dump

  1. michael r james

    Of course the reason there is a world shortage of rare earths is that China finally reacted to the rampant environmental desecration by many small operations in Inner Mongolia by closing many of them down. That in turn was a big reason why rare earthy production shifted to China because coping with the waste is a big part of the cost of enriching the minerals. In response the previous world’s largest mine operation in California will be reopened. Its owners say that today they can do the processing with a fraction of the water use and better management of the toxic wastes and still make money (and who knows, possibly some kind of assistance by the Feds because the China domination has finally brought the recognition of rare earths as a strategic resource.)
    Lynas are fooling no one as to the real reasons they are setting up in Malaysia.

  2. Flower

    Excellent sleuthing on Andrew Crook’s part. WA’s hazardous waste industry has an ignominious past and one can predict with some certainty, an ignominious future, with a mining industry on rampage.

    In the following letter (1 April 2011) from the Department of Environment and Conservation to Lynas Corporation, an excerpt goes something like this:

    14 May 2003 – letter from DEPWRC – History of Environmental Reports:

    “Removed secondary processing at Meenar (near Northam) and associated transport.” Page 4 & 5 of 21.

    The link to the Northam Shire’s minutes does not work, however, I imagine it is to do with the hazardous waste committee (Core Consultative Committee on Hazardous Waste – CCC) established by former Premier Geoff Gallop and his cabinet to erect hazardous waste sites that do not impact on communities. Alas, after Geoff Gallop retired from politics, Mark McGowan, then Labor’s Environment Minister, sacked the dedicated committee without explanation before they could present their final recommendations to cabinet.

    There is compelling evidence suggesting McGowan was captive to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry including CCI’s clients in the heinous hazardous waste industy that continues running amok with impunity.

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