Malaysia to monitor Aussie rare earths plant

AP News
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Posted: Feb 03, 2012 2:03 AM
Malaysia to monitor Aussie rare earths plant

Malaysian authorities say they will appoint an independent monitor to ensure public safety amid protests over its move to approve a rare earths plant by Australian miner Lynas Corp.

The Atomic Energy Licensing Board on Wednesday granted Lynas a two-year license to operate the first rare earths plant outside China in years. Malaysia hopes the $230 million plant will spur growth but public protests have escalated over fears of radioactive contamination.

A group representing villagers and civil groups plans to seek a court order to halt the project.

Agency director-general Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan sought Friday to quell protests, saying an independent monitor would be appointed this month and production would be closely scrutinized.