Malaysia Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said the country will develop a policy to ban exports of rare earth raw materials to avoid exploitation and loss of resources, reported Reuters.
Anwar said the government would support the development of the rare earths industry in Malaysia and that a ban would "guarantee maximum returns for the country."
He did not say when the proposed ban would come into effect.
The country’s rare earth industry is expected to contribute as much as 9.5 billion ringgit (US$2 billion) to the gross domestic product in 2025 and create nearly 7,000 job opportunities, Anwar said in parliament.
"Detailed mapping of rare earth element sources and a comprehensive business model that combines upstream, midstream and downstream industries will be developed to maintain the rare earth value chain in the country," he said.
Reuters noted that Malaysia has an estimated 30,000 metric tons of rare earth reserves.