REC shipments to China net Perak RM16m in royalty payments, state assembly told
Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad speaks at the Perak State Legislative Assembly in Ipoh September 26, 2023. — Picture by Farhan Najib
By John Bunyan
Tuesday, 26 Sep 2023 10:52 AM MYT
IPOH, Sept 26 — Perak received RM16 million in royalty payments from China for the pilot project involving the production of rare earth carbonates (REC) from non-radioactive rare earth elements (NR-REE), the Perak State Legislative Assembly was told today.
Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said that the state government received the amount after exporting the REC for the 10th time to China as of July.
“This pilot project also proved that this rare earth is not radioactive and extracting it through the in-situ leaching (ISL) is the best method and does not pollute the environment.
“Following the success of this pilot project, the state government intends to expand the mining from 87.412 hectares to 2160.617 hectares in the same area after receiving the environmental impact assessment (EIA),” he said.
The Kota Tampan assemblyman was responding to the oral questions asked by Kamunting assemblyman Mohamad Fakhrudin Abdul Aziz, Jelapang assemblyman Cheah Pou Hian and Kepayang assemblyman Nga Kor Ming on state government’s intention to open new areas for NR-REE projects in the state.
The REC extraction from the NR-REE mining pilot project commenced in October last year in Mukim Kenering, Gerik and was first exported to China in February.
Saarani also pointed out that the study carried out by the Malaysian Department of Minerals and Geoscience (JMG) in Perak showed that the estimated total of NR-REE deposits in the state is 1,687,500 tonnes with a value of RM46.5 billion.
“This is based on the REC market price of RM27,061.80 per tonne as of September 25,” he added.
As for the evaluation on the possibility of more NR-REE projects in the state, Saarani said it is up to the audit committee, an independent body, formed with the purpose of monitoring the implementation of NR-REE mining in the state which involves 12 technical and enforcement agencies.
Saarani also said that new mining operations will only be allowed after the necessary approvals from the Environment Department, EIA, and environmental management plan (EMP) are received.
He added the projects also require approvals related to the mining management scheme from JMG, permit planning from local authorities, social impact assessment from PlanMalaysia@Perak and erosion sediment control plan from the Department of Irrigation and Drainage.