Rare earth project: Perak terminates MoU

Posted on April 29, 2011. Filed under: Pollution |

Free Malaysia Today

The deal with the Hong Kong-based company is cancelled because it did not receive authorisation from the state government.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Bukit Merah rare earth project is effectively called off with the termination of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Perak State Development Corporation (PKNP) and the Hong Kong-based company Commerce Venture Manufacturing (CVM) Minerals Ltd.

The Perak government today announced that it would terminate the MoU with immediate effect.

State executive councillor and Sungai Rapat MP Hasmidah Osman said that the MoU “did not receive authorisation from the state government”, and hence all proceedings would be halted and the MoU rendered void.

“The Perak government made the decision to terminate this MoU in a meeting held earlier this evening,” she told FMT.

She promised that the state government would not give approval to such a project, as greening Perak was one of its primary concerns.

She also said that the MoU was a “low-level” agreement, given the fact that Menteri Besar and PKNP chairman Zambry Abdul Kadir had no knowledge of it.

FMT reported earlier in the week that the Perak government has signed a MoU with CVM in relation to “the establishment of a joint venture in Malaysia for the purposes of the exploration and mining of rare earth and other potential minerals and activities” in Bukit Merah.

Warning from MB

CVM, via its subsidiary CVM Metal Recycle Sdn Bhd, submitted its application for a mining licence to the state Land and Mineral Office on April 18 to conduct rare earth exploration on an area of 250 hectares – nearly six weeks after the environmentally hazardous Lynas rare earth project in Kuantan was publicised.

PKNP, the development arm of the state government, has a 4.73% stake or 135,300,000 shares in CVM Metal Recycle.

However, PKNP CEO Samsudin Hisham assured locals that it was merely a feasibility study.

CVM could not be reached for comment despite repeated phone calls.
Meanwhile, Bernama reports that Perak Menteri Besar Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir is disappointed with PKNP for signing the MoU without notifying the state government.

“I would like to warn other agencies wishing to sign any form of MoU to notify the state government first… even though it is not a legal binding contract or just a mutual understanding.

“Matters that are sensitive, and involving government policies, should be relayed to the state government first,” he told reporters here today.

He was commenting on a controversial report posted on FMT which stated that the Hong Kong company and the Perak government had agreed to explore and mine for rare earth in Bukit Merah near here.

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