Menteri Besar Kedah Inc. (MBI Kedah), Malaysia, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Jangka Bakat Minerals Sdn Bhd, Kelantan, Malaysia, and Xiamen Tungsten Co Ltd, China, to explore, share technical assistance and mine rare earth elements in the Malaysian state of Kedah.
Muhammad Sanusi, First Minister of Kedah, stated that rare earth elements are global strategic resources, and, while they are related to geopolitics, “as an upcoming REE producer, we will remain neutral and make decisions to benefit Kedah’s economy.”
Kedah is said to have high-quality REE deposits which have seen illegal mining in the past. In October 2022, the state government was able to recoup US$144,132 in fines following the closure of two illegal compounds.
Sanusi suggested that this was, in part, due to the lack of federal standard operating procedures on mining these critical minerals.
“Due to the high demand for REE and the high prices, people are unwilling to wait,” he stated.
To ensure this mining venture operated legally, Sanusi stated that the organisations will work closely with local authorities, the Department of the Environment and the Forestry Department to monitor the operation and ensure all regulations are followed.