|Public ASX: LYC|
|Predecessor||Yilgangi Gold NL|
|Headquarters||Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd, PT17212, Jalan Gebeng 3, Kawasan Perindustrian Gebeng, 26080 Kuantan, Pahang Darul Makmur, Malaysia, Sydney, Australia|
Lynas Corporation, Ltd. is an Australian rare-earths mining company, listed on the Australian Securities Exchange as a S&P/ASX 200 company. It has two major operations: a mining and concentration plant at Mount Weld, Western Australia, and a refining facility at Kuantan, Malaysia.
The company was founded in 1983 as Yilgangi Gold NL. The company took on the Lynas name in 1985. It became publicly listed in 1986 on the ASX. In 2001, it sold off its gold division and focused on rare earths.
Mount Weld contains one of the largest and highest grade known deposits of rare earths. The deposit is additionally unusual because it contains very low levels of thorium, a radioactive contaminant commonly found together with rare-earth elements. The combination of large resource, high grades and low thorium contamination make it a particularly attractive commercial proposition. The ore produced at Mount Weld is concentrated onsite and is intended to then be shipped to the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Malaysia for refining.
In May 2009 Lynas was offered funding of $252 million by the Chinese state-owned China Non-Ferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co., which would have taken a 51.6% stake in the company. However the deal was scrapped by Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board on concern it would threaten supply to non-Chinese buyers. Lynas later raised $450 million in a share sale.
First shipments of concentrate to Malaysia have reached the LAMP late November 2012.
In April 2011, Lynas was attempting to sell its Crown polymetallic deposit (which is particularly prospective for niobium) at Mount Weld to Forge Resources. Forge, a company listed on the ASX, also shares the one and only common Director and CEO of Lynas, Nicholas Curtis, although former Lynas executive director Harry Wang is also involved with Forge and the transaction. In a 2007 Company presentation, Lynas claimed that the Crown deposit was worth $50 billion () but have valued it at $20.7 million for sale to Forge. Curtis as a director of Forge would receive a 24,000,000 performance shares if the deal between Lynas and Forge proceeds. Certain commentators and journalists have called into question the regulatory oversight of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) as to the legality of such a proposal, but were proven to have been uninformed or alarmist because the proposal was always subject to the approval of independent shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). The EGM was cancelled by Lynas after shareholder opposition to the proposal became apparent, and the Crown polymetallic deposit remains owned by Lynas.
Lynas Advanced Materials Plant
The Lynas Advance Materials Plant (LAMP) has been built near Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia. This location was chosen due to the site having all the resources required to run the plant at a lower cost than originally approved in Western Australia. In addition, the Malaysian government granted the company "pioneer" status and offered it a 12-year tax exemption. The LAMP commenced operations in 2012.
Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh has been raising her concerns over the risks of having a rare-earth processing plant near Kuantan in the Parliament of Malaysia since 18 November 2008. A civil society group "Concerned Citizens of Kuantan" was formed in December 2008, after a meeting held by Fuziah to meet with about twenty residents and professionals from different ethnic groups and NGOs in Kuantan to discuss their concerns.
In early March 2011, an article published in the New York Times raised the public awareness concerning the LAMP. Since then, the Kuantan community group protesting against the LAMP led by Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh has gradually evolved into a bigger group, i.e. Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL). The group is currently led by Bentong parliamentary candidate Wong Tack.
An Australian Greens MP, Robin Chapple, has shot down Lynas Corp’s attempt to ship radioactive waste from Malaysia back to Western Australia state saying that the Western Australia Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 1999 forbids the import of radioactive waste.
On 5 September 2012, Lynas (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd was awarded a temporary operating licence by Malaysia's Atomic Energy Licensing Board for a period of two years. Despite concerns about the plant and its alleged lack of a proper long term disposal plan for its waste, a two-year temporary licence was issued.
On 19 December 2012, the Malaysian Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by 'Save Malaysia Stop Lynas group' against a temporary operating licence granted to Lynas, with costs in favour of Lynas.
The refining facility entered production in 2013, producing 1,089 tonnes of rare-earth oxides in the first quarter of 2014, with a target of 11,000 tonnes per annum. On 2 September 2014, Lynas was issued a 2-year Full Operating Stage License (FOSL) by the Malaysian Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB)
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