IPOH: The rare earth mining project in Mukim Kenering, Gerik, Hulu Perak, has received approval for the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) from the Department of Environment, as well as for the Erosion Sediment Control Plan (ESCP) from the Department of Drainage and Irrigation.
Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said he had been informed of this by Perak Menteri Besar Incorporated (MB Inc.) chief executive officer, Anuar Zainal Abidin that the high-impact pioneer project had received full approval.
"I have not received this officially, but have been notified by Perak MB Inc. of the approval, so the project can start.
"We have been waiting for the two approvals, the EMP and ESCP, before starting the rare earth mining activity. In fact, it has been scheduled to commence this month but it is up to the appointed company as to when to begin work," he said at a media conference after attending the state government’s Meet-the-Customers Day programme at Indera Mulia Stadium, here on Tuesday (Sept 13).
In August, Saarani said that approval for the project was at the final stage and it would only start after obtaining approval for the EMP and ESCP.
Previously, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said the project was expected to start this month with the first mineral output by November.
He also said that from a study undertaken under the 12th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020), it was estimated that Malaysia had 15.2 million tonnes of NR-REE worth RM741bil.
The Hulu Perak area had been earmarked for rare earth mining with the mineral to be used by the electronic sector.
The project which is a new source of income for Perak, covers 11 pieces of land totalling 2,161 hectares (5,339 acres) owned by Perak MB Inc., Gerik District Council, Felcra Berhad and the SADC. - Bernama