Lynas share price: Miner considers processing in Australia

Lynas shares slide as much as 3.3% as the rare-earths miner says it sees value in processing near its Australian mine.

Malaysia has ramped up pressure on Australian rare-earths miner Lynas, as it said on Monday it is considering ore processing close to its Australian mine.

It comes amid a takeover struggle, which has seen the company locked in a dispute with Malaysia over licence renewals. The South East Asian nation has told Lynas to remove years of accumulated waste as a condition of renewing its licence in September.

Lynas share price

Lynas shares fell as much as 3.3% to A$2.040 on Monday, dragging the shares to their lowest since March 27. Lynas stocks have risen 33.1% this year, as of last close.

The stocks have posted their biggest intraday percentage fall in two weeks, marking Lynas shares as among the top percentage losers on the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index on Monday.

Analysts say the company’s licencing issues with Malaysia have been the main cause for the share drop.

Malaysian pressure

On Friday, Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said that companies are interested in a takeover with Lynas, and they had vowed to remove low-level radioactivity before shipping raw materials to the country. However he did not specify which companies.

Mahathir said Lynas could keep operating in the country as long as raw materials coming to Malaysia were cleaned.

Mahathir’s comments come after last week Laynas rejected Australian conglomerate Westfarmer’s $1.1billion takeover bid.

Lynas said on Monday that it had been developing detailed plans that would assist the company to mitigate risk from any regulatory changes in Malaysia, for some months.

‘We see value in operating alternative cracking and leaching processing close to our resource,’ it said in a statement

Lynas produces a big majority of the world’s rare-earths--outside of China--in its rare earths mine in Western Australia. It ships the concentrated material to a plant in Malasia, where it stores thousands of tonnes of waste.

The Miner has said on Monday that it has the support of its Japan lenders and customers.

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