The public should not panic over the issue of rare earth exploration activities to be conducted in Perak, said Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
He said the memorandum of understanding inked between Menteri Besar Inc and a China company, Chinalco GXNF Rare Earth Development was only to identify the rare earth elements in the state.
“This MOU is for exploration, we want to find out the elements present in the soil and after we are certain, we will do a research on whether it is economical and beneficial for us to extract them. We are not signing the MOU today to have them extracted tomorrow.
“Any mining for gold, tin or tin tailing must be studied for its environmental impact assessment (EIA), and nowadays, the state government has added another study called social impact assessment (SIA),” he told reporters after launching the 2019 Perak SADC Agrofest in Ipoh today.
Ahmad Faizal was commenting on a statement by Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka) president Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil, who had urged the state government to stop and not initiate any activities on rare earth exploitation in the state.
Ahmad Faizal said the government is open to suggestions on project proposals by the private sector, but that does not mean it is in favour of them.
“Just like when some quarters claimed that the state government will set up an oil refinery in Segari, Lumut. It was just a proposal by a private company, it doesn't mean that we agree to it.
“It is not for the state government to close the door when the private sector comes up (with a proposal),” he said, urging all parties to stop commenting on the rare earth exploration issue.