KUALA LUMPUR: A new National Mineral Policy will be developed to spur the mineral industry's growth holistically, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The Prime Minister said it would also encompass sustainability and responsibility principles.
"This will be the guide for carrying out mining activities in permanent forest reserves, environmentally sensitive areas and protected areas," he said during a special Parliament sitting on Monday (Sept 11).
Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said the rare earth elements (REE) industry would also emerge as a new gross sector based on non-radioactive REE which are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
"These elements are needed in battery manufacturing, super magnets and electronic devices.
"The REE industry is also expected to contribute as much as RM9.5bil to the country's gross domestic product by 2025, creating almost 7,000 job opportunities," he said.
He said a detailed mapping of REE areas would be carried out and holistic business models comprising upstream, midstream and downstream industries developed to retain the supply chain in the country.
Separately, Anwar said a policy will be developed to prevent REE from being exported.
"This is to prevent exploitation and loss of resources, ensuring that the country receives maximum returns," Anwar added.
Parliament is scheduled to sit for six days from Monday to table the mid-term review of the 12th Malaysia Plan and subsequently debate it.