GERIK: A request will be made to the Federal Government to add more areas for non-radioactive rare earth element (NR-REE) mining in Perak, says Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad.

The Mentri Besar said the request would be made to the Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Ministry.

“Right now, the mining area is located 5,000ha from our forest reserves. We will make the request for more mining areas while adhering to the standard operating procedures,” he told reporters after the Meet The Customers session at the Gerik District Council multipurpose hall on Thursday (July 20).

Saarani added that the state has always followed the guidelines, even when processing such minerals.

“As Perak is the pioneer state to conduct such a project, we will continue to closely monitor it to ensure that everything is conducted according to the SOP.

“Therefore I believe that there shouldn’t be any issues of illegal mining in the state unless there are individuals who attempt to do so, which we have not come across,” he added.

Lanthanide mining in Hulu Perak started as a pilot project in October last year.

Lanthanides are a series of rare earth metals commonly used as catalysts in the manufacture of petroleum and synthetic products.

During the state assembly sitting in May, Saarani said Perak has received royalty of RM1.66mil from the first exportation totalling 296.2 tonnes of rare earth carbonate (REC) to China in February.

Source : The Star Online