Investors ready to bring in RM100 billion for rare earth products, says minister

KUALA LUMPUR: Investors are prepared to bring in RM100 billion in rare earth downstream products, Entrepreneur Development Minister Redzuan Yusof said today.

He said he has been approached by businesses who are prepared to invest if the rare earth industry is regulated.

“I can’t name the investors, but they want to make it clear that they will put in the money once rare earth is regulated in the country,” he told reporters after officiating a forum on rare earth organised by the Malaysia Global Business Forum here.

He said Malaysia already has laws on best practices to regulate industries.

He said national oil company Petronas and the palm oil industry operate crude oil refineries without compromising on safety and health, as well as the environment.

Rare earth is critical to the automotive industry as well as the electronics, oil and gas and renewable energy sectors.

China currently dominates the rare earth industry with over 80% share.

In May, Putrajaya said it would allow Australia’s Lynas to keep operating its rare earths processing plant in Gebeng, Pahang.

Lynas, which had come under fire from some ruling politicians, maintains that it has always complied with the government’s storage regulations and that its residue storage facilities are operated in a proper manner.