A leading US expert on rare earths technology has described the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Gebeng as among the safest of its size in the world.
“No one has built a bigger rare earth plant than in Malaysia and Lynas’ procedures are all in place,” Jack Lifton said in a report after his recent visit to the plant to see its first finished product.
“The external radiation is negligible,” he noted.
After nearly five decades in the industry, Lifton is a sought-after advisor in the high-tech metal research sector and in investment. He is considered a leading authority on the sourcing and end-use trends of rare earths and strategic metals.
In February, Lynas announced that it had finally produced its first products at the new plant, sending shares rocketing after a tense period when the politicisation of the plant threatened to halt Malaysia’s opportunity to make inroads in this lucrative market.
“It has the potential to produce 20,000 tonnes of rare earth products a year and it will achieve this by end of June,” Lifton said.
“Lynas investors can finally sleep peacefully after having invested RM2 billion and seeing everything working well,” he added.
Lifton said that the Lynas rare earths plant would develop a local supply chain in Malaysia to cater to this high-tech sector.
“Lynas has just announced that it will sell up to a certain portion of the LAMP’s output preferentially to Malaysian companies that want to further process the rare earths and use the downstream products to make end-user products. I think we are seeing the seeding, thereby, of a Malaysian total rare earth supply chain,” he wrote on March 7.
“When you ramp it (the rare earths industry), make money and provide jobs, pay taxes, all this (anti-Lynas opposition) will go away and they will see the real and good sense behind it,” he pointed out.