The Malaysian Higher Court has rescheduled on Oct. 10 its initial hearing over the highly contested temporary operating license (TOL) granted to Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corp. that would jumpstart its Malaysian rare earths processing plant.
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.
The rescheduling effectively keeps the TOL, already in Lynas' hand, prevented for use. Lynas had earlier said it targets the middle of October to start its Malaysian plant.
The Malaysian High Court had been expected to come out with its final decision Thursday, Oct. 4, whether to allow or not the Australia rare earths miner to proceed with the operation of the Kuantan plant.
Lynas received in September the highly-contested license for the much delayed US$800 million rare earth plant. It had earlier said it targeted production to start by middle of October.
Opponents to the Malaysian rare earths plant filed an injunction and called for the suspension of the licence until the court hears the two judicial review cases earlier filed that challenges the government's decision, in this case the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB), that permitted the plant to operate.
The AELB, in releasing the license in September, said the company had met all technical and regulatory requirements. The board approved the license in January, but its release was delayed.
The rare earths plant has been expected to have started operations in September 2011.
Meant to challenge China's dominance in the rare earths sector, the Malaysian rare earths plant is expected to supply about 11,000 tonnes in its first year, eventually rising to 22,000 tonnes.
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