Monday, 28 November 2011

Lynas’ Leaky Project

Lynas’ Mt Weld Plant Leaking Toxic Waste

Save Malaysia Stop Lynas Committee (SMSL) has been informed by the Australian watch group National Toxic Network that Lynas’s Western Australia’s (WA) Mt Weld tailing ponds would leak an astonishing 186,000 litres of radioactive waste per day or, 67 million litres of contaminated waste per annum.

The WA Department of Environment and Conservation DEC has refused to allow Lynas to dump their waste until they had constructed a lined pond specifically for waste disposal.

“It is indeed a shocking discovery that Lynas would dare to do this knowing full well it would not be acceptable in Australia.” Says Mr Tan Bun Teet, Chairman of SMSL.

However, even the new lined tailings facility is estimated to leak at the rate of up to 14,000 litres per day according to the Department of Environment and Conservation.

Government’s Duty of Care to Exercise Prudence
SMSL calls on the Government to suspend the construction of the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (LAMP) and institute a full-scale independent engineering audit.

Since expose in the New York Times in late June of the LAMP’s serious design flaws and shonky construction, there has not been any official investigation or independent audit to ensure that Lynas has properly rectify the problems to ensure plant safety and adequate environmental management measures are in place.

Lynas’ persistent recalcitrant behaviour is of great concern and a big risk to public health and safety.  If the LAMP is allowed to operate in this condition, serious contamination problems will ensue risking the entire economy and well beings of the local people and Malaysia as a whole.
It is time the government exercise prudence in the interest of public safety, the sustainability of our important environmental resources and for the sake of our long-term economic health. We call on the Government to use its power to fully and thoroughly investigate the various issues which have surfaced to date.

To date, the public has not been consulted on the project and its long-term waste management plan is unclear although these are two of the key recommendations specified by the IAEA agreed to both by the Malaysian Government and Lynas as requirements to comply with before the pre-operating licence is issued.

MITI 30th November visit to the LAMP
SMSL had earlier requested a joint visit with independent experts and MITI to inspect the Lynas plant in Gebeng in December. Unfortunately, MITI insisted on a visit for the 30th November which will coincide with Lynas’ Annual General Meeting in Sydney.

SMSL is concern that Lynas will be using the plant visit for its badly needed public relation exercise to allay growing fear and concerns amongst its shareholders.  Lynas’ survival is dependent on its shareholders’ confidence.  It is clear that Lynas has largely invested in shareholder and investors relation than community relation and plant safety, least of all its waste management strategy.

“In the public interest and to restore public confidence in the Government to effectively manage the LAMP, we urge the Government to stop all construction activities until a full-scale independent investigation and audit are carried out and rectified.”

“This is the only way the public will have faith in the Government to act responsibly and with the appropriate sense of duty of care.  It will go a long way to restore Malaysia’s image as a matured emerging economy.” Concludes Mr Tan

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