Malaysia Seeks to Streamline Rare Earth Sector

by | 5. Mar 2024 - 09:17 | Politics

Member of the Parliament urges the administration to set up a government-linked company to ramp up exploration efforts for the critical minerals.

Malaysian Member of the Parliament (MP) Datuk Larry Sng urged the administration to create a government-linked company (GLC) to oversee the country’s rare earth industry, seeking to expand the sector while recognizing the environmental burden, according to the Malay Mail. A GLC supervising the industry would streamline the sector’s expansion while regulating environmental protection efforts, Sng added. The MP added that the GLC could be comparable to Petronas, the Malaysian state-owned company overseeing the country’s oil and gas industry.

Large Deposits, Little Mining

A Malaysian minister told the Parliament last year that there were about 16.1 million tons of non-radioactive rare earth elements in the country. Despite having these reserves, the Southeast Asian country only mines few deposits. Malaysia’s main part in the rare earth industry is in the processing step in the largest refinery outside China in the East of the Malaysian Peninsula, operated by Australian company Lynas. The plant processes rare-earth concentrates produced at Lynas’ Mount Weld rare-earth operation in Western Australia. Despite recent back-and-forth developments surrounding the plant, Lynas is committed to partnering with Malaysia’s rare earth industry. According to a press statement, the company’s CEO Amanda Lacaze met with Anwar Ibrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia, at the ASEAN Summit in Melbourne on Tuesday, but the details of the talks were not disclosed.

Photo: iStock/shotbydave

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