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Malaysian court rebuffs Lynas protesters

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SYDNEY, March 18 AAP

March 18 2013, 7:31PM

The Federal Court of Malaysia has backed earlier lower-court decisions that dismissed a challenge by environmentalists opposing the company's rare earths refinery.

Lynas said on Monday that the federal court had dismissed a challenge by persons associated with the Save Malaysia Stop Lynas group (SMSL) to Lynas's temporary operating licence.

In April 2012, the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed an application by SMSL for leave to seek a judicial review of the decision of the Atomic Energy Licensing Board to approve the operating licence.

On appeal, the decision of the High Court was upheld by the Court of Appeal in September 2012, Lynas said in the statement.

The Federal Court dismissed an application by SMSL for leave to appeal the earlier decisions of the lower courts.

Lynas produced its first rare earth products from its Malaysian processing plant in February and said at the time it remained on track to ramp up production to 11,000 tonnes per annum by the second quarter of 2013.

Commercial production from the plant marks a significant milestone for Lynas, which has battled activists in Malaysia concerned about the project's impact on health and the environment.