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Controversial rare earth ore arrives in Kuantan port

KUANTAN PORT : More than 100 containers suspected to contain rare earth ore have arrived in Kuantan port near midnight yesterday under unusually heavy police presence.

Stop Lynas Coalition chairperson Andansura Rabu, who was at the port, told Malaysiakini that a large number of police and Lynas employees were at the dock last night.

According to him, some 102 containers arrived at Kuantan port at about 11pm, which he suspected contain raw material for the controversial Lynas rare earth plant in Gebeng.

On Monday, Lynas announced that the processing of the raw materials will begin next month after winning a court battle against activists who are against the plant, which many fear produces radioactive wastes.

According to Andansura, the transportation of these containers to the plant about 7km away started between 1am to 2am. He said they were moved by container trucks under police escort and the process was still underway as at 8am morning.

Although the port documents did not specify the material stored inside the containers, Andansura said the heavy police presence had led him to believe that it was rare earth ore from Australia.

He also claimed that the police had closed down the main road from the port to the plant, and deployed three police cars to escort the container trucks. There were another two police vehicles parked at the port.

The police stopped Andansura and a number of other anti-Lynas activists from taking photographs and they were repeatedly barred from the area.

The activists said they spotted many personnel in Lynas uniforms at the port. Malaysiakini is seeking confirmation on the matter from both Lynas and Kuantan police.

The suspected containers came at a time when anti-Lynas coalition Himpunan Hijau is holding a 300km march from Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur, while another group Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas (SMSL) is in Australia to lobby against the plant."

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