In a press briefing on Malaysian TV after a cabinet meeting on Friday, Mr Mahathir said: “We have opened up the business to other people, and there are other companies willing to acquire Lynas.”
“They have given us a promise that in the future before sending the raw materials to Malaysia they will clean it up first. They will crack it and decontaminated it in some way with regard to radioactivity.”
He added that the company, or even Lynas, would be able to operate in Malaysia if they promise that raw materials coming to Malaysia are cleaned.
“Lynas is seeking clarification from the government regarding the Prime Minister’s press conference and will provide an update when further information is available,” Lynas said after the press conference.
Wesfarmers has yet to respond to inquiries.
Wesfarmers’ initial talks with Lynas last year focused on a joint venture which would build an additional processing plant alongside Wesfarmers chemical operations in Kwinana, Western Australia.
In December, Malaysia’s Energy and Environment ministry required Lynas, the only rare earths producer outside of China, to remove the accumulating radioactive wastes to qualify for a renewal.
– with Reuters