NEWS

NGO: Lynas misled Australian Securities Exchange

4 Feb 2020, 12:12 pm

Updated a year ago

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The shareholders of Lynas Corporation were told to file a complaint to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) over its announcement that a permanent radioactive waste disposal facility (PDF) would be constructed in Kuantan.

Anti-Lynas group — Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas (SMSL) — drew the conclusion based on the state government's denial of identifying Bukit Ketam in Kuantan as a dumpsite for Lynas' water leach purification (WLP) residue.

"The denial by a representative of the Pahang government has placed Lynas’ corporate announcement to the ASX grossly inaccurate and with an intent to mislead," said SMSL in a statement today.

In terms of radioactivity, WLP residue has been shown to contain low levels of naturally occurring radioactive material.

"We call upon all shareholders to make a complaint to the ASX." 

On Feb 2, Pahang Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Abdul Rahim Muda denied that Bukit Ketam would be a dumpsite for Lynas' WLP residue.

Last Thursday, however, Lynas, which is an Australian rare-earths mining company, announced to the ASX that the Pahang government had consented to a site for their radioactive residue disposal facility.

Based on this, Lynas Malaysia appointed Gading Senggara Sdn Bhd as the contractor to manage the entire Bukit Ketam PDF project, which is worth more than RM400 million, including the design, construction and operation.

The project drew flak from Pakatan Harapan Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh. 

She said a radioactive waste dumpsite in Bukit Ketam could compromise the Semambu treatment plant which processes drinking water for 600,000 Kuantan residents.

The approval for the "biggest radioactive dumpsite in the world" was also questioned by Harapan Bentong MP Wong Tack.

Elaborating further, SMSL said rampant mining and logging activities in the state have resulted in heavy river pollution and were the cause of water supply disruptions in 2018.

"If the PDF is built in Bukit Ketam, it will entomb more than one million tonnes of radioactive residue for 14 billion years. Its contents of heavy metals will, over time, leak and seep into the surrounding water catchment areas," the group said. 

"When this happens, Kuantan’s water supply will be polluted beyond remedy. This likelihood alone should rule out Bukit Ketam as the location of the radioactive waste facility.

"Pahang rivers are the most polluted, causing 449 shutdowns at various treatment plants in the past," the group added.

"We have laws to protect our water. Under the Water Services Industry Act 2006, polluters can be sentenced to death if the contamination causes death or endanger lives. 

"We pray that the government, ministries and authorities be more responsible and transparent in its duties and not leave Kuantan with a legacy of death for the generations to come," the NGO stated.  

Malaysiakini has attempted to contact Lynas for comment. 

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