Kedah to tap RM62 billion rare earth deposits, not RM43 trillion

Kedah to tap RM62 billion rare earth deposits, not RM43 trillion
Dec 2 -- The Kedah state government has awarded a permit for a Kuala Lumpur-based company to prospect and extract rare earth elements in the state.

According to Bernama, Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor (above) announced at a press conference in Alor Setar today that the approval had been given last week.

“The local company is also cooperating with an international firm for the prospecting. They will conduct the prospecting works in Sik,” he said after chairing a state executive council meeting.

He reportedly told the press conference that the minerals are not radioactive, and the prospecting and extraction of the mineral would not involve any mining activities.

Sanusi said the minerals are in high demand for making components for smartphones and laptops, but did not name the type of rare earth elements involved.

In a video of the press conference which circulated online, however, Sanusi had apparently misspoken on the amount of rare earth deposits in the state.

“God did not grant this mineral in all states. There is some in Perak, plenty in Kedah.

“This mineral, according to studies, is worth RM43 trillion, buried beneath our soil,” he said.

 
 

For comparison, Malaysia’s GDP for 2019 was only RM1.51 trillion.

Sanusi’s office later clarified that the correct figure for Kedah’s rare earth deposits is RM60 billion.

The RM43 trillion figure refers to the estimated rare earth deposits for the whole of Malaysia.

Meanwhile, according to Bernama, Sanusi did not disclose the value of the mineral deposits in the area where prospecting will take place.

The menteri besar also reportedly expressed hopes the federal government will formulate a suitable policy on mineral exploration so that the state and its people can enjoy its mineral riches.