PUTRAJAYA: The government plans to develop a national mineral policy within three months in accordance with the current SOPs for rare earths mining.
Deputy prime minister Fadillah Yusof said the policy is aimed at the responsible management of the nation’s minerals, balancing between the needs of the economy and national revenue while ensuring that environmental sustainability is safeguarded.
“The potential contribution of minerals to national revenue is quite big, with our current mineral reserves being valued at around RM4 trillion.
“Therefore, efforts taken to develop mineral resources should be orderly and organised so that the economic needs do not affect the people’s social welfare as well as the environment,” Fadillah, who is also the plantation and commodities minister, told reporters after chairing the second national mineral council meeting here today.
He said Kedah has the largest rare earth mineral resources among the states.
The meeting also discussed including a holistic mineral industry development through the establishment of a mineral value chain covering the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors.
“Issues related to illegal mining were also raised. Putrajaya has urged all state governments to pay serious attention to this by strengthening the control and monitoring of particularly sensitive areas such as permanent forest reserves and environmentally sensitive areas,” he said.
Fadillah said the federal government was forming a task force to tackle illegal mining.
“The task force will involve parties from various technical departments and enforcement agencies at the federal and state levels,” he said.