Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd has target the first phase of its advanced materials plant in Kuantan, Pahang, to operate at
full capacity by year-end.
Vice president and managing director Datuk Mashal Ahmad said only then would the company begin to record positive returns as right now the plant was currently at a ramping up stage and production value was still negligible.
"Right now, we are producing only for customer certification test.
"Until we come to a stage where all this is settled, only then can we go full steam ahead and see changes in our revenue," he told reporters after delivering a lecture on "Rare Earth: Towards a Greener Future" today.
The half-day lecture was organised by Universiti Malaya and the Asia-Europe Institute.
He said the first phase of the plant, capable of producing up to 11,000 tonnes of rare earth concentrates, was currently running at 30 per cent.
Mashal said once phase two of the plant was commissioned, doubling its capacity to 22,000, the company should be able to supply 20 per cent of the global demand for rare earth concentrates.
In the second quarter ended June 30, 2013, the plant produced 144
tonnes of rare earth concentrates and shipped 117 tonnes.
The company, which has been the centre of anti-Lynas campaigns, reiterated its compliance to local and international regulations, emphasising on safe practices.
"We have been audited by six bodies including the International Atomic Energy Agency. Our plant operates under atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature. The raw materials we use are not highly radioactive," Mashal said.
Lynas generates three types of residues -- water leach purification (WLP), flue gas sulphurisation and neutralisation underflow, whereby the WLP was the only residue that contains radioactive of six becquerel per gram.
"We have found a commercial application for the WLP as a road base. We have submitted the plan to the government and we are now awaiting approval," he said, adding that the radioactive reading of the waste was less than one becquerel per gram after conversion.-- Bernama