Australian high commissioner: Statement on Lynas was accurate and carefully considered

Terence Tang
A worker walks inside the Lynas factory compound in Gebeng, April 19, 2012. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Andrew Goledzinowski today said he has the right to comment on Lynas Corp as it is part of his job to support Australian investors in Malaysia.

Goledzinowski was responding to a statement by Bentong MP Wong Tack, who labelled his statement about Lynas recently as “highly unethical and deplorable”.

“YB Wong criticised my statements to the media about Lynas as ‘highly unethical and deplorable’. Part of my job is to support Australian investors in Malaysia, including when they face market access issues.

“Malaysia’s diplomats overseas do the same. Every statement I have made concerning Lynas has been carefully considered and accurate. And when I see false or misleading statements by others, I reserve the right to correct the record, as I am doing now,” he said.

Responding to Wong’s assertion that removing all waste from the Malaysia plant was a “legally binding, black and white agreement undersigned by Lynas”, Goledzinowski pointed out that it was incorrect.

According to Goledzinowski, Wong should be aware that Lynas Malaysia produced two solid residues: Water Leach Purification (WLP) and Neutralisation Underflow (NUF).

He explained that when Lynas was invited by the Malaysian government to build its processing facility in Gebeng, Kuantan, it was licensed to explore three options for WLP in the following order of priority: Commercial re-use, permanent storage and removal of the WLP residue if Lynas failed to achieve the previous options.

Goledzinowski noted that several Malaysian universities had conducted research on the re-use of nutrient-rich Lynas Malaysia residues in agricultural fertiliser, adding that the residues could replace some of the 357,531 tonnes of phosphate fertiliser that Malaysia imports yearly.

For years, Bentong MP Wong Tack has been a vocal opponent of Lynas’ operation in Gebeng, Pahang, having demanded that Lynas shut down its operations following its admission the conditions imposed by the government to renew its operating licence is unachievable.

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