IPOH, Sept 26 — The pilot non-radioactive rare earth element (NR-REE) mining project covering an area of 78 hectares in Mukim Kenering, Hulu Perak, has generated almost RM16 million in royalty to the Peak government, the State Assembly was told today.
Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said the revenue was from the export of rare earth carbonate (REC) to China until last July.
“This pilot project also proves that this rare earth is non-radioactive and its extraction through ‘in situ reaching’ is the best method and does not pollute the environment.
“As such, the state government intends to continue with the mining in all the area covering 2,160 hectares that has obtained the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval,” he said during the question and answer session at the State Assembly sitting today.
He was responding to a question from Mohamad Fakhrudin Abdul Aziz (PN-Kamunting) on whether the state government was planning to open a new rare element mining area in Perak.
He also wanted to know whether the government had carried out an additional study of the impact of mining on trees and water quality in the surrounding area.
Saarani said the pilot project was implemented after obtaining approval from the relevant quarters, including the Department of Environment, Planning Permission (KM) from the local authority, Social Impact Assessment Study (SIA) from PLANMalaysia and the Letter of Approval of the Mining Management Scheme from the Department of Minerals and Geosciences Malaysia (JMG).
He said that according to a study carried out by JMG Perak, the estimated NR-REE deposit in the state is 1,687,500 tons with a value of RM46.5 billion based on the current REC market price of RM27,061.80 per ton.