Turn the LAMP off!
Australian company Lynas Corporation are trying to export a toxic legacy, onto an unwilling community in Kuantan, Malaysia.
On September 5th Lynas Corporation were granted a 2 year temporary operation license, by the Malaysian atomic energy licensing board, to begin operation of the Lynas advanced material plant (LAMP). The plant is built and ready to operate as a rare earths refinery and is set to be the largest in the world. Australians have a close connection to the refinery, not only
is it an Australian company, but the rare earths concentrate being mined for the plant comes from Mount Weld in Western Australia.
Major concerns with LAMP are it's risks of polluting important coastal marine ecosystem and major sources of livelihoods for local people. There are well over 700,000 people living in a 35km radius of LAMP and were never properly consulted about the refinery.
Malaysians have great concerns over the plant, which is understandable in 1992 Japanese company Mitsubishi had a rare earths refinery that was shut down due to major health concerns that were associated with the plant. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/business/energy-environment/09rareside...
The refinery is seen to be a big step in breaking the strong hold China has on the rare earth market, little is talked about why China has reduced its mining and smelting of rare earths. Until 2010 China had a major monopoly of over 95% of rare earth mining and refining, they have since reduced exports to deal with a wide range of social and environmental issues. They are also trying to crack down on illegal mining and improving safety standards. Currently the USA, Japan and the EU are taking China to the world trade organisation over their reduction of rare earth exports.
The campaign is calling for more stringent research to be done into the refining and management of rare earths production and a reuse approach through urban mining. We understand rare earths are used in modern technologies such as phones, computers, magnets, hybrid vehicles, solar and wind technologies, which are a crucial part of the 21st century.
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