Australian protest targets Lynas over Malaysian rare earth refinery

Protest outside Lynas' Sydney office, September 20. Photo: Peter Boyle

A colourful group of environmental activists gathered on the steps of Australian mining giant Lynas Corporation’s head office on September 20 to protest the company’s move to build a rare earth mineral refinery in Malaysia.

Thousands of Malaysians have joined protests against the Malaysian government and Lynas for their lack of transparency in not disclosing plans to deal with radioactive toxic waste produced by the Lynas Advanced Minerals Plant, near the town of Kuantan.

Supporters of the Australian Stop Lynas! campaign added their voice to the people of Malaysia in their fight against Lynas. At the rally they chanted: “Lynas! Lynas! You must go! The people of Malaysia have said no! Lynas! Lynas! Here’s our case, we don’t want your toxic waste!”

NSW Greens MP Jamie Parker spoke to the crowd, assuring his commitment to protecting the environment and pledging his support to the grassroots movement of the people of Kuantan.

“This facility would not have been able to have gone up in Western Australia where the material is being mined," Parker said. "We know that they moved to Malaysia because with lower environmental standards [and] with lower labour standards; they think that they can get away with it.”

“Countries like Australia should not be dumping their environmental risks in other countries. Countries like Malaysia need to have more transparency and more openness; to allow for their communities to be able to stand up to protect their environments.”

Other speakers included the Socialist Alliance’s Peter Boyle, Tully McIntyre from Friends of the Earth and Malaysian democracy activists in Australia, Lim Teik Hock, William de Cruz and Helen de Cruz.


stop it right now...

Stop radioactive pollution in China!
NO to radioactive waste in China's rare earths monopoly!
Save China from pollution!
Chinese people say NO to corporate greed!

Mining is an unmitigated rape of this earth, takes way its soul and its essence, and in the name of what do we let this happen? Profit, for multinationals that that swallow all that took millions of years to be and are the blood and bone of this planet, and leave nothing but destruction on their trails, with half dozen of coins to quieten the locals. And for what? STUFF that will be discarded when the fab washes away.
Do we want to leave to the following generations a moribund planet, where the only surviving thing will be the monstrous blobs of unrecyclable materials that will swallow anything in its path, like the ones (hardly reported) trailing a path of destruction in the seas today.
So, thanks God for the passionate few that dare to protest and report it, to safeguard the rights and dignity of this planet and its cultures. So Hooray

How does sifting some heavy metals out of a remote mine amount to a rape, and how exactly would it leave the Earth "moribund" or take away its "soul and its essence"? Is there a rare desert lizard that can only nest in Yttrium? Does Gaia require Promethium to fuel its defensive Ion Cannon?

Yes these metals are in crappy phones, but they're also in X-ray machines, PET scanners, the magnets required for wind power and electric cars. Don't make a joke out of being green and left by coming off like an uninformed moron.

Just a technical point, REE's are created in the hearts of dying stars and either formed part of Earth's accretion dish or came in later meteorite bombardment. So we're talking billions, not millions of years. Try and see some of the poetry in science as well as nature.

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