Takiyuddin: Hulu Perak rare earth project not radioactive

IPOH: A rare earth project in Hulu Perak, which deals with the metallic element known as lanthanide, is non-radioactive, says Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (pic).

He reiterated this after non-governmental organisations had claimed otherwise.

The ministry, he said, had outlined the standard operating procedure on the mining and operations of the project.

He said the state government was given the task to implement the pilot project.

“Since it is a new mineral found, and if the pilot project takes off, then the ministry would use the SOP nationwide,” he said.

He explained that the mineral was also discovered in other states such as Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.

If the SOP falls into place, it could be implemented at these places, he told reporters at the Hari Raya open house hosted by PAS at Stadium Indera Mulia here yesterday.

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad had said on May 23 that the project was expected to boost state revenue.

He said the state government had received approval from the Environment Department (DOE) following an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report last week to implement the pilot project.

Perak Department of Mineral and Geoscience director Datuk Ahmad Zukni Ahmad Khalil had also said that the rare earth element to be mined is an ionic adsorption clay which does not contain any harmful radioactive material.

However, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) said the EIA report indicated the presence of thorium in the soil sample tested.

SAM said that any uncontrolled accidental release of reactants during the set-up and operations could have catastrophic consequences.

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