Summary Box: Malaysia to monitor rare earths plant

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THE PLEDGE: Malaysian authorities say they will appoint an independent monitor to review the safety of an Australian mining company’s rare earths plant and to closely scrutinize its production.

THE APPROVAL: The Atomic Energy Licensing Board this week granted Lynas Corp. a two-year license to operate the first rare earths plant outside China in years. Malaysia hopes the $230 million plant will spur growth.

BACKLASH: The decision has been the subject of heated protests over health and environmental risks posed by potential leaks of radioactive waste.