IPOH: The new rare earth project in Hulu Perak is to mine lanthanide, a material that is not radioactive, says Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan.
The Energy and Natural Resources Minister said this after a non-governmental organisation claimed that the mine could have radioactive elements present.
He said the ministry had already come up with a standard operating procedure to mine the material, with the state government tasked to implement the pilot project.
"If the pilot project takes off, the ministry will use the SOP nationwide.
"The mineral is also found in several states like in Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu and the SOP will be implemented there as well if suitable," he told a press conference at PAS' Hari Raya open house at Stadium Indera Mulia here on Saturday (May 28).
Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad had said on May 23 that the project was expected to boost state revenue.
Saarani had said that the state government had received approval from the Environment Department (DOE), through an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report last week, to implement the pilot project.
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) in a recent statement had said that the DOE had rejected the EIA report for the mining project initially due to concerns over radioactivity.
SAM president Meenakshi Raman said that the EIA report had also revealed the presence of thorium in soil samples tested.
She had said that any accidental and uncontrolled release of reactants during setting up of and during mining operations could have catastrophic consequences.