SEREMBAN: The authorities have detected what is suspected to be the illegal mining of rare earth elements on two lots of land in Kampung Sikai, Kuala Pilah, near here, says Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Aminuddin Harun.
He said a complaint lodged to the Kuala Pilah district and land office on May 16 led to an integrated investigation by the relevant agencies.
He said in-situ leaching was used to mine the rare earths. This method does not require large areas and uses chemical processes.
“Liquid chemicals, including ammonium sulphate, are used to extract rare earth elements from the ground through holes that have been drilled and channelled to the catchment pond,” he said in a statement tonight.
He said Negeri Sembilan and Melaka’s minerals and geoscience department had retrieved samples for laboratory analysis and confiscated substances and machinery believed to have been used in the illegal activity.
Aminuddin said the areas involved were also closed off to prevent further mining activities and encroachment, adding that investigations were being carried out by the state’s lands and mines department and other relevant agencies.
“The state government views this matter seriously and will ensure that appropriate action is taken against those involved based on existing laws,” he added.
He also urged all parties to channel information and complaints to the authorities regarding suspicious activities related to illegal mining.