The Malaysian government may grant Lynas Corp. Ltd. a short license extension to operate the Gebeng rare earths plant, Reuters reported Aug. 5, citing two sources with knowledge of the matter.
The government has yet to determine the final duration of the extension, which may be shorter than the usual three years, the sources said. Lynas declined to grant Reuters' request for comment, while the Malaysian prime minister’s office did not immediately respond to the newswire's emailed query.
Meanwhile, a source told online news portal Malaysiakini in an Aug. 3 report that cabinet members were not unanimous on the renewal and, as a compromise, agreed to delay the decision for six months. The government will make an announcement no later than Aug. 15., the report said, citing Yeo Bee Yin, Malaysia's minister for energy and the environment.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad recently said that Lynas is no longer required to export low-level radioactive waste from Gebeng to secure renewal of its operating license, which will expire Sept. 2.
Lynas welcomed the decision and said it was waiting for a formal notification while noting that it started preliminary work to identify a location for a permanent disposal facility.