PETALING JAYA: A second illegal rare earth element (REE) mine has been found operating in Sg Muntoh in Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan after the first one was found in Seri Menanti village on May 16.

In a Star Online report, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun said the state Land and Mines Department immediately started investigations after receiving a tip-off on the illegal activity on Thursday (May 25).

“They decided to check out the site on the same night and later discovered that the mine which is also believed to have been operating illegally was located on private land.

“We believe the activity has also encroached into government-owned land and investigations are ongoing,“ he added.

The authorities have yet to establish the size of the area, and no arrests were made during the raid.

The MB also hopes that the public would continue to report illegal rare earth mining areas to the authorities.

He was quoted saying that public cooperation is important as such activities were carried out in remote places which were difficult to detect.

“We will continue to carry out operations to put a stop to such activities. Rewards will also be given to informants,“ Aminuddin said.

He said that REE mining was more profitable compared to sand or quarry mining.

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