“No more REE thefts with new guidelines, SOPs,” says Sanusi

KEDAH Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said the guidelines and standard operating procedure (SOP) on rare earth elements (REE) mining activity in the state can resolve issues related to the theft of the mineral throughout the country.

The Jeniri assemblyman expressed relief by the move, saying that he is excited to start exploring REE as a new source of income for the state government.

“REE can be found not only in Kedah but almost in all other states in the country. I am relieved that there will soon be SOPs because it means we can soon start the mining works,” he was reported as saying at a press conference at Wisma Darul Aman today (Aug 30).

“We were forced to wait for the SOPs (to come into effect) all this time which had led to the theft of REE (in the state).

“Hopefully there will be no more thefts when there are SOPs. The state government can now issue approvals based on the SOPs so that this issue can be resolved.”

On Aug 28, Bernama reported Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad as saying that his ministry will convene a committee chaired by him under the National Minerals Council soon to discuss REE-related guidelines and SOPs.

Nik Nazmi said the committee would comprise of state executive councillors (excos) who would be put in charge of minerals and mining activities.

The incidents of theft or illegal mining of rare earth elements (REE) at the Bukit Enggang Forest Reserve in Sik, Kedah been used as election fodder in the recent Kedah state polls.

Recall that Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail had, in the run-up to the six state elections, made a series of disclosures about the issue that linked Sanusi to the REE mineral theft issue, leading to several heated exchanges between the two politicians. – Aug 30, 2023

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