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Ministry gets tough on enforcement officers involved in illegal rare earth elements, Nik Nazmi says

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad today said that firm action has been taken against enforcement officers found colluding with groups engaged in the illegal mining of non-radioactive rare earth elements (NR-REE).

He said the ministry is in collaboration with enforcement agencies to combat this issue.

“So far, if there is any encroachment on those REE areas, action has been taken.

“We are working with Perak and the state government to ensure that the REE is done sustainably and in line with the policies set by the government,” he said after the soft launch of the International Greentech and Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here.

On February 23, Malay daily Berita Harian reported that the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah has called for decisive action to be taken by enforcement agencies against any of his officers who were found colluding with illegal miners to steal NR-REE.

He said the encroachment and illegal operation will cause the leakage of state revenue, in addition to uncontrolled and non-compliant mining activities that have the potential to hurt the environment and community health.

According to him, the Department of Mineral and Geoscience estimates that there are 1.69 million metric tonnes of NR-REE deposits in Perak, valued at around RM40 billion.