Thursday, April 14, 2011

Letter from Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam to Lynas CEO Nick Curtis Over LAMP Issues

MP Kuantan YB Fuziah Salleh

Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam


The media release is sending on behalf of MP Kuantan cum PKR Vice President YB Fuziah Salleh for publishing the letter from Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam to Lynas CEO Nick Curtis over LAMP (Lynas Advanced Materials Plant) issues in Gebeng, Malaysia. Senator Scott questions Lynas about the appropriateness of environmental monitoring and safety measures, as well as LAMP’s long-term storage of radioactive thorium waste – that could damage the livelihood, health of the local people and the local environment.

Kuantan, Pahang, 14 April 2011

Thanks & Regards,
Dr. Joyce Lee

Letter from Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam to Lynas CEO Nick Curtis Over LAMP Issues

Nick Curtis
Chief Executive Officer
Lynas Corporation
PO Box 1884
Osborne Park BC
Western Australia 6916

Dear Mr Curtis,

I write to express my concerns about reports that Lynas Corporation is pursuing project in Malaysia that will not be subject to appropriate environmental monitoring and regulation.

The rare earth project, known as LAMP (Lynas Advanced Materials Plant), has raised fears amongst local people in Malaysia. It has been claimed that through a technical flaw in the relevant section of Malaysian law, no Environmental Impact Assessment was required for the project despite the radioactive wastes and hazardous chemicals involved.

The proposed Kuantan site is near a deep water port and is also close to the state’s major fishing grounds and coastal resorts. The area is densely populated and there are many fishing villages in the vicinity. Fishery and coastal and marine tourism are major sources of livelihoods for the local people and many have participated in protests against the project.

I appreciate that rare earth metals have become increasingly important for high‐tech manufacturing, but, as the people of Malaysia are all too acutely aware, refining rare earth ore usually leaves thousands of tons of low‐level radioactive waste behind. The last rare earth refinery in Malaysia, operated by Mitsubishi Chemical, is now one of Asia’s largest radioactive waste cleanup sites.

However, the Malaysian government has demonstrated a noticeable level of enthusiasm for this project, even offering a 12‐year tax ‘holiday’, though I understand it is expected the refinery will generate $1.7 billion a year in exports starting late next year, equal to nearly one per cent of the entire Malaysian economy.

While rare earths are not radioactive themselves almost every rare earth ore deposit around the world contains thorium. One concern is; what will become of the radioactive by‐products produced at the plant? Building 12 acres of “interim” lined storage pools was one of the pledges your company made to secure permission to put the refinery in an area already environmentally damaged by the chemical plants that line the Balok River but the question of the long‐term storage of the Lynas plant’s radioactive thorium waste
remains unresolved.

The Australian Greens would greatly appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the safety measures being taken by Lynas to ensure this project represents no threat to the local environment or the local people and their livelihoods. Please contact my office as soon as possible to discuss the matter.

Scott Ludlam
Senator for Western Australia

No comments:

Post a Comment