Australian mining company Lynas may be looking for new countries to export refinery by-products after being embroiled in lengthy environmental disputes in Malaysia.
ABC Network News reports, including interview with Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.
Senator Rhiannon also moved a motion in the Senate with Senator Scott Ludlam.
Senators Rhiannon and Ludlam: To move-
That the Senate-
(i) the rare earths miner Lynas Corporation Ltd has established a processing plant at Gebeng in Malaysia to process material from Lynas' Mount Weld mine in Western Australia,
(ii) rare earths, including radioactive thorium residues, will be transported from Mount Weld to Fremantle, where it will be shipped to Malaysia,
(iii) a rare earths refinery operated by the Mitsubishi group in Perak in northern Malaysia was closed after news broke of cases of birth defects and leukaemia in some local residents,
(iv) Lynas plans to dispose of the waste radioactive material near fishing communities in the Malaysian state of Kuantan,
(v) in early January 2012 the Malaysian press reported severe restrictions on the public's ability to access information about the proposed Lynas plant, and
(vi) residents who live near the proposed Lynas processing plant and non-government organisations in 2011 marched on Malaysia's Parliament and held a demonstration at the Australian High Commission calling for the processing plant not to be sited in Malaysia;
(b) expresses grave concerns over the Malaysian Government's approval for a new rare earth refinery in Pahang, and the process by which it has been established; and
(c) calls on Lynas to process the thorium ore on site at the Mount Weld mine to minimise the risk of damage arising from radioactive waste.
The Senate divided: Noes 32 - Ayes 9