IPOH: The Perak government intends to establish a non-radioactive rare earth element (NR-REE) processing center in the state, says Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad (pic).
The Mentri Besar said this could be a downstream industry to produce semi-finished and finished products of higher value than raw NR-REE material.
He said Perak has explored opportunities in the NR-REE mining sector which yields minerals highly valued in the world market.
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“This was through a pilot project at Kenering in the Hulu Perak District last year,” he told reporters after his New Year speech to civil servants in the state at a hotel here on Thursday (Jan 26).
Asked if any location or start date for the project had been decided, he said it would be “revealed later when the time is right”.
Saarani added that Perak had also asked the Federal Government to consider granting the RM20mil allocation for deposit studies on potential mineral resources in the state.
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He said the allocation was there, and so he hoped Putrajaya would consider the request favourably.
“It is part of the silent allocation … I am hoping the request will be granted so we can study the potential of other mineral resources,” he added.
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A lanthanide mining project in Hulu Perak was begun as a pilot project last year, but with resistance from environmental groups.
Lanthanides are a series of rare-earth metals commonly used as catalysts in the manufacture of petroleum and synthetic products.