Though the moratorium on bauxite mining in Pahang is set to expire at the end of the month, government authorities again declared that permits are not likely soon to be issued.
In comments to domestic media on Wednesday, Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr. Xavier Jayakumar emphasized that mining activities will not be permitted unless and until certain other criteria are achieved.
“The Minerals and Geoscience Department will not issue an OMS approval to mining license holders until all OMS requirements are met in compliance with environmental impact assessment requirements,” he explained.
“You (illegal miners) break the law and you will be taken to court. The ministry has taken action to strengthen the standard operating procedure (SOP) which will impose stringent conditions covering the whole chain of mining activities; starting from the pre-mining stage, during post mining, including recovery plans, logistics handling and stockpile at the port.”
He continued by explaining that the enforcement function of bauxite mining would soon be assigned to the state government under the Pahang State Mineral Enactment 2001. But despite assigning enforcement to another government body, Jayakumar reiterated that no mining would be allowed until all government agencies are on board with enforcing the SOP on bauxite miners in Pahang.
“I wish to stress that the stop-work order on mining activities will be withdrawn after all relevant parties are ready to implement and enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs) for mining and exporting of bauxite in Pahang, which will be carried out in a sustainable manner.”
“It is to ensure that bauxite mining activities are implemented in a sustainable manner. Even though the moratorium will end on March 31, it does not mean bauxite mining will start on April 1,” he said.
“It can only be done when the bauxite mining was told to cease operation in January 2016 are withdrawn as required under the Mineral Development Act 1994,” concluded Jayakumar.