IPOH: The rare earth lanthanide mining and processing project in Hulu Perak is expected to start in September, says Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad.
He said they were waiting for two more assessments to be done before the project could begin.
"The Department of Environment is conducting the Environmental Management Plan (EMS) while the Drainage and Irrigation Department is doing the Erosion Sediment Control Plan (ESCP).
"Once these two are completed, the departments will issue certificates to the company and they can start the project," he told reporters after attending the Perak Sejahtera 2030: State Leadership Summit here on Wednesday (Aug 24).
Saarani said they have also received the conditional Planning Permission from the Gerik District Council.
"The conditions include the completion of EMS and ESCP before we could start the project.
"We have also addressed the concerns of several environmental groups. The site is not located at forest reserves but instead (on a piece of land) owned by the State Agriculture Development Corporation (SADC)," he said.
"It is also not under the Central Forest Spine and is non-radioactive. We will make sure that the project will run without harming the environment," he added.
Saarani had in July described the project as beneficial for the state and its people, and the relevant authorities would monitor it closely to ensure public safety.
Separately, Saarani said the state government was hoping to be the third state to have a defence city.
"Following Selangor and Pahang, we have the facilities to turn Lumut in Manjung district as a defence city.
"The Royal Malaysian Navy base is in Lumut as well as near the Lumut Port," he said, adding that more discussions on the matter would be held.