A state lawmaker from Western Australia (WA) has mocked Lynas Corporation after the company is being left in a quandary over its waste products from its rare earth refinery.

NONERobin Chapple, the legislative council member representing the mining and pastoral region, said on his website that Lynas seems to be "left holding the baby".

Malaysia's Atomic Energy Licensing Board now wants Lynas to commit to exporting their waste products.

Following this, a news report emerged claiming that Lynas was seeking the Australian government's permission to accept its waste products, although this is highly unlikely.

Chapple said that by operating in Malaysia, the company might have thought that it escaped Australia's rigorous legal scrutiny.

"Well it (Lynas) isn't. And if it thinks that Western Australia will take this radioactive waste, it can think again.

"The WA Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 1999 prohibits it here. Period!" wrote Chapple.
Australia's long-standing policy
The AELB had recently issued a temporary operating licence (TOL) to Lynas that will last for two years.

With the TOL, the company can now export ore from its mine in Mount Weld, located in the interiors of Western Australia.

NONEThus far, minute details of how Lynas intends to handle its waste has not been made public nor has the AELB described what kind of measures it can take should TOL conditions be violated.

Based on a Malaysian Insider news report, it would seem that Lynas was looking to export its waste back to Australia and have sought permission from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).

However, the Australian High Commission spokesperson who revealed this, stressed that Australia has a long-standing policy not to accept radioactive waste from other countries.

As a parting shot, Chapple wrote that Lynas was caught up in its lack of willingness to respect Australia’s expectations on sustainable mining, environmental, social and legal standards.

“It didn’t consult with community on shipping its... ores through Fremantle port, and it certainly hasn’t consulted on shipping back the... waste... Talk about being left holding the baby!,” he said.