KUALA LUMPUR: The future of rare earth industry in Malaysia was clearly showcased to over 150 stakeholders, industry experts and media practitioners at the KL Hilton Hotel here recently. The development of rare earth supply chain will take a decade to turn into a successful growth in the industry.
This 100 Billion Ringgit potential industry could be attained through a clear vision driven by the industry leaders who have the financial capacity to take advantage of this global opportunity.
At the roundtable discussion on the Future of Rare Earth Industry in Malaysia, the Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof in keynote address reaffirmed the huge prospect of this business when he said, “We have received enquiries and expressions of interest from industry players to invest in the downstream sector using rare earth products in this country”.
One of the attendees, the Director of Malaysia’s Department of Mineral and Geoscience, Jontih Enggihon said, “We are keen to develop the rare earth minerals for Malaysia as the analysis from the lab result seems positive”. He agreed that Malaysia needs a rare earth policy as he said “Rare earth is synthetic minerals where it is ideal to export certain portion of it for Malaysian downstream activities”.
Meanwhile, Zaid Ibrahim & Co. Advocates and Solictors Aravendrajan Subramaniam agreed that the discussion has enlighten him in several ways. He said “It has given right perspective on what rare earth materials are and their impact in the country as there are extra potential to be exploited on”.
He also mentioned “There are huge business opportunity from various industry such as, automotive, metals, energy efficient vehicles etc”.
“We need a policy that develop core competency in Malaysia and embraces best practices in the industry” said Aravendrajan. He said through this there will be good cooperate governance as the stakeholders could encourage more input and the government interest will be balanced while the public is clear of the objective of rare earth industry.
Meanwhile, Prof. Dr. J. Shamshuddin from Universiti Putra Malaysia Department of Land Management Faculty of Agriculture said, “I have learned a lot from the forum as it has inspired me to work even harder”.
He also said “Rare earth has a good future and we have to be appreciative for a company such as Lynas which produces rare earth in Malaysia”
He also agreed to Rare Earth Policy being implemented in the future and that it should be parallel to the rules and laws in Malaysia. He said, “Setting up a company here and giving the job opportunity would be helpful for the industry and the people as a whole”.
Report by Vinietha Veloo