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Revitalising The Rare Earth Mineral Programme in Peninsular Malaysia

by The Academy of Sciences Malaysia

Publisher - Akademi Sains Malaysia

Category - Science

Malaysia's aspiration to become a high income nation is very much dependant on the success of its involvement in high technology and green technology. Whilst it is true that many high income nations do not have an rare earth (RE) mineral industry in their own backyard, it can also be said that they have now realised that they are heavily dependent on the raw material producers. Realising how critical it is to have a secured supply of RE raw materials and how vulnerable their high technology industries (and their economies) are to such supplies, these countries have embarked on exploration programmes and outward investments to hedge against future threats. Malaysia already has a slight edge in that it has long experience in the upstream RE industry, being a producer of RE minerals for several decades. The country also has the experience of being involved in midstream chemical processing of RE minerals to produce RE compounds. As the country's high technology industry continues to develop and expand, more RE raw materials would be needed. A secured supply of RE raw material is critical otherwise the industry would be vulnerable to vagaries of the international RE supply market. it is this criticality and vulnerability that makes the RE mineral industry in Malaysia strategic.

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