Activists in Malaysia have expressed concern about the environmental implications of Australian mining firm Lynas’ plans to operate a rare earth refining plant on the country’s east coast.
Production has been delayed at the plant, which can potentially meet up to 20 per cent of global demand for the minerals – used to make high-tech gadgets like smartphones.
Local community and activists say the plant, tipped to be the world’s biggest rare earth processing facility, will generate radioactive waste.
The company says the raw material and residue have low levels of radiation, and that it will recycle some of the waste into fertiliser.
Al Jazeera’s Florence Looi reports from Gebeng.