It's now all systems go for Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corp as it had finally received the highly controversial temporary operating licence (TOL) needed to jumpstart its long overdue $US800-million ($810 million) rare earths processing plant in Malaysia.
Shares of Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corp. jumped to as much as 7.4 per cent in early trade on Friday as the mining company reached a "significant milestone" with the start of operations of its highly-controversial Malaysian processing plant.
Shares in Lynas Corp grew by more than 50 per cent on Thursday, surging to a three month high of A$0.95 and last traded up 49 per cent at A$0.89.
The release of the TOL effectively enables the rare earths mining company to commence production at the Kuantan plant in eastern Pahang state by as early as October.
"Receiving this licence from the Malaysian Atomic Energy Licensing Board is a significant milestone for Lynas," Lynas Executive Chairman Nicholas Curtis said in a statement.
The Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) was already prepared to start operations as early as nine months ago but strong public opposition by residents and environmentalists hampered the start. The rare earths plant and its owner still actually face legal challenges lodged by the residents, which are still pending before the High Court of Malaysia.
On Wednesday, the AELB released the permit following an earlier recommendation from a government committee.
Subject to several conditions, Lynas' rare earths TOL is effective for two years from Sept 3 this year to Sept 2, 2014.
"The TOL will enable Lynas to conduct trial processing of lanthanide concentrates in stages and in limited quantities under close and continuous surveillance by the authorities," Raja Datuk Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan, AELB director-general, said in a statement.
Approved on Jan. 30, Malaysia did not immediately issue the TOL since Lynas still had to fulfill additional conditions and subsidiary regulations.
"The Board at its meeting on Sept 3 was satisfied that Lynas had fulfilled all technical aspects," he said.
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