KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 2): A review into Australia-listed Lynas Corp Ltd’s rare earths processing plant in Malaysia will focus on the plant’s radioactive waste emissions, the leader of a Malaysian government review panel said on Tuesday.

Concerns that Malaysia’s newly elected government could close down Lynas’ six-year-old plant, the only processor outside of China of the rare earths used in industrial magnets, sent shares of the firm skidding 27% lower last month.

The Chairwoman of the Lynas Executive Review Committee, Fuziah Salleh, said in a statement that “central to the review will be the Radioactive Waste Management Plan (RWMP) since the radioactive waste is a very pertinent issue to be deliberated by the committee from the perspective of sustainability and sustainable development”.

The three-month review will be also looking at safety, health, social and environmental impacts of the plant, she said.

In a press briefing earlier on Tuesday, Lynas appealed to the Malaysian government for an “objective and scientific” review.

“This government may change (policy), what we ask is that we are given time to adapt to that. We certainly do everything we can to adapt to the requirements of governments in every jurisdiction we operate,” Lynas Chief Executive Officer Amanda Lacaze told reporters.

The Committee pledged that the review process will be “open and transparent” and take into account all stakeholders in the site including Lynas and its employees, the statement said.

Lynas is the only major miner outside China of the rare earth elements, metals that are crucial in the production of magnets and other technologies such as mobile phones. It mines raw materials in Western Australia which are sent to a plant in Malaysia for processing.

Lynas’ operating licence in Malaysia is up for renewal in September 2019.

The strategic significance of rare earth metals was highlighted last month when the United States excluded them from a round of import tariffs at a time when customers are looking to shore up supply chains outside of China, amid a tit-for-tat trade war between the two countries.