Malaysia Grants License To Aussie Rare Earth Plant

Published February 1, 2012 1:18PM (EST)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia has granted approval to Australian miner Lynas Corp. to operate its 700 million ringgit ($230 million) rare earth plant despite public protests over fears of radioactive contamination.

The Atomic Energy Licensing Board says it would grant Lynas a temporary operating license. It must submit plans for a permanent disposal facility within 10 months and make a $50 million financial guarantee with the government.

The board warned Wednesday that the license can be revoked if conditions are breached.

Public protests have escalated amid concern health and environmental risks posed by potential leaks of radioactive waste. The plant is the first such facility outside China in years.

By Salon Staff

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