KUALA LUMPUR: The world's largest rare-earths processing plant will start producing finished products within weeks in Malaysia, its Australian owner said Monday.
Lynas Corporation Ltd said its facility in Kuantan town in Pahang state, 210 kilometres north-east of Kuala Lumpur, would start producing finished rare-earth metals within three weeks.
Rare-earth metals are vital components in the manufacture of high-tech products such as smart phones, hybrid cars and wind turbines.
"Lynas anticipates commercial rare earths products will be available in the next few weeks with the ramp up of production to take place over the next three months," the company said in a statement.
The 200-million-dollar Lynas Advanced Materials Plant began operations in late November 2012 despite environmental protests.
Environmentalists said they would continue opposing the facility due to health and environmental concerns.
Lynas said it expects to process up to 22,000 tons of rare-earths ore annually, or about 20 per cent of the world market, at its Malaysian facility. It hopes to generate some 8 billion ringgit (2.66 billion dollars) annually from its operations.
A Malaysian court is still hearing the petition to revoke permanently the licence granted to the facility, which Lynas and the national authorities say meets all Malaysian and international standards. (QNA)