25/05/2023 09:36 PM

SEREMBAN, May 25 (Bernama) -- The Negeri Sembilan government has ordered all district and land offices in the state to monitor their respective areas to ensure that illegal mining activities of rare earth minerals do not recur.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun said following that, all district officials have been briefed by the Land and Mines Office (PTG) including the modus operandi of the activities and to address the matter should it occur.

"We fear there are more in other districts (rare earth mines), that's why a briefing was held so that they know how it is carried out because this is the first time it has happened in Negeri Sembilan, we have never seen it before. That is why we are exposing it and hope to help them take action.

"This should be taken seriously and acted upon immediately. However, it is still under investigation. Some enactments are also being identified and handed over to the deputy public prosecutor to see what legal action can be taken," he said when met by reporters at Wisma Negeri today.

Yesterday, he revealed that illegal rare earth minerals mining activity was detected on two lots of land in Kampung Sikai, Seri Menanti, Kuala Pilah near here through a complaint received by the Kuala Pilah District and Land Office on May 16.

In the meantime, Aminuddin said the initial inspection found that the activity was carried out on private land, but his party was identifying whether it also involved government-owned land and the actual land size of the area.

"We haven't got the exact size yet, but it is wide, not only involving one or two acres, but also involving hilly areas. The duration of the activity is not yet known and only the Department of Minerals and Geoscience can make an estimation," he said.

Asked whether the activity could have an impact on the environment and the health of the surrounding residents, Aminuddin said the matter was still under investigation but the area was far from settlements.

He added that the state government will not compromise with such incidents and also urged any party with information to channel it to the relevant department and remuneration will be given to the informer.

Meanwhile, he said that rare earth minerals are a new resource that he wants to explore so as to be able to provide results to the state government, but he is still waiting for the standard operating procedure (SOP) from the federal government.

"Even though some states announced that they will do it, we have to wait for the SOP so that it does not affect the community," he said.







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