Perak govt set to draft measures to stop illegal rare earth exports

IPOH: The Perak government is set to draft steps and methods to stop the illegal exportation of non-radioactive rare earth elements (NR-REE) , says Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad (pic).

“Unlike tin-ore, mining NR-REE is easier. This is why we are worried about the possibility of uncontrolled (mining),” he said.

He added at a question-and-answer session at the Perak State Assembly sitting at the state secretariat building here on Tuesday (Dec 5) that there was a case of illegal NR-REE extraction in another state, and said that the situation in Perak is being monitored closely.

Saarani (BN - Kota Tampan) said with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s announcement that rare earth elements cannot be exported in its raw state, it will help to control the issue.

“However, we realise that there might be loopholes in the matter where the element can be exported if it is declared as other items or elements.

We are now working on detecting that to avoid it being exported illegally,” he said replying to an additional question by Mohd Fakhrudin Abd Aziz (PN-Kamunting)

On Sept 12, Anwar said the Federal Government would develop a policy to avoid any rare earth element (REE) exploitation and loss of resources to secure maximum returns for the country.

Saarani had said on Nov 30 that Perak has received RM21.1mil in royalty payments since the pioneer NR-REE project started in Perak.

He also said the state has received its approval to expand the mining area for the project and set up laboratories and factories producing the end-products of NR-REE.

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Saarani Mohamad , NREE , Perak


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