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Lynas shares climb as Malaysian government confirms Gebeng license renewal

Lynas Corp. Ltd. said it "welcomed" the Malaysian government's decision to remove the export of water leach purification residue as a condition for renewal of the company's operating license in the country.

Shares were up as much as 9.9% in Aug. 2 trading on the ASX as the company said it is waiting for a formal notification, adding that it is conducting preliminary work to identify a location for a permanent disposal facility.

Lynas said it expects Malaysia's Cabinet to formally announce the decision in mid-August. The operating license for the Gebeng rare earths processing plant will expire Sept. 2.

The statement came after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad confirmed that Lynas will no longer have to export low-level radioactive waste stored near its Gebeng rare earths plant ahead of a license renewal, The Australian Financial Review reported Aug. 1.

However, the company needs to come up with a plan to deal with the low-level radioactive waste before it will be granted the license renewal, Reuters separately reported Aug. 1, citing Mohamad.

"We are waiting for them to tell us how they will do that, whether they find a place where they can deposit the waste or not," Mohamad said.

The prime minister said in late May that he plans to allow Lynas to maintain operations in the country in a bid to not lose the investment from Australia, but added that the radioactive waste needs to be addressed.