World’s largest rare-earth plant begins production
KUALA LUMPUR (dpa) – The world’s largest rare-earth processing plant in north-eastern Malaysia has began producing finished products, its Australian owner said Wednesday.
Lynas Corporation Ltd began operating its facility in Kuantan town in Pahang state, 210 kilometres north-east of Kuala Lumpur, in November despite environmental protests over health concerns.
Rare-earth metals are vital components in the manufacture of high-technology products such as smart phones, hybrid cars and wind turbines.
Lynas said it expects to process up to 22,000 tonnes of rare-earths ore annually, or about 20 per cent of the world market, at its Malaysian facility. It hopes to generate some 8 billion ringgit (2.66 billion dollars) annually from its operations.
A Malaysian court is still hearing a petition to revoke the operating licence, which Lynas and the national authorities say meets all domestic and international standards.