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“La Rochelle, the ‘Lynas of France’

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From the New Straits Times Press, Ahmad Ibrahim, Fellow of Academy of Sciences, Malaysia Quote:

“La Rochelle, the ‘Lynas of France’

Many would be surprised that La Rochelle has for decades been hosting a rare earths processing plant, similar to the one planned in Malaysia.

The La Rochelle facility, which belongs to France’s Rhodia Group, has for years been operating like Lynas. Forty years to be exact. And there has been no adverse health and safety report in the tourist town.

The Rhodia company is an active player in the rare earths business. It is a leading processor of rare earths. In fact, it’s the only fully integrated industrial player to have manufacturing operations and raw material supply both within and outside China.

The plant in La Rochelle has been in operation for more than 50 years.

In the early years, the plant processed rare earths ore concentrates from Australia and China just like Lynas would. For 40 years, the plant was operated in this manner, producing cerium for the world market.

The radioactive thorium residues have been stored within the plant’s 40ha site for the past 50 years. During storage, the residues […]