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News News Committee out to save Malaysia from Australian mining company

The Save Malaysia Committee flew into Perth to garner support for their mission to stop a rare earths processing plant in their backyard.

The $205 million plant, currently being built in the Gebeng industrial zone in Kuantan, will process the ores from Lynas's Mount Weld mine in Western Australia. But the committee fears that the area will become polluted and that locals will lose their livelihoods.

Rare Earths are not dangerous, but a by-product, thorium, is radioactive, and potentially dangerous.

The plant is expected to be operational by end of this year. However, the community in Gebeng is up in arms against the project because of fears of radioactive contamination in the area surrounding the plant.

The committee says residents still can see the remnants of a $100 million environmental disaster caused at a Mitsubishi plant on an adjacent peninsula. The clean-up operation of that plant is continuing more than 20 years after being closed.

Save_Malaysia_for_webThe committee claims its presence has already damaged the local property market.

It claims that, once operational, the plant kill tourism, local wild life, the fishing industry, downstream cottage food industries and future investments in the region.

 While in Perth, the committee briefed UnionsWA Secretary Simone McGurk.

“It’s terrible to think that the people of Gebeng will have to live with the fear of pending disaster,” she said.

“I admire their courage in taking on a mining giant and standing up for what they believe in.”

Lynas will generate $1.7 billion a year in exports for Malaysia, or about one per cent of the total economy. The Government of Malaysia has offered the firm a 12-year tax holiday under a “strategic pioneer” preferential investment agreement.

However, Lynas still has to satisfy the Malaysian Government that it is complying with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s recommendation, before it will be given the final nod to begin processing at the plant, which is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Read more on the Save Malaysia campaign at http://www.savemalaysia-stoplynas.blogspot.com/

 
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