Malaysian Natural Resources Minister: Bauxite mining ban could be extended

Malaysian Natural Resources Minister: Bauxite mining ban could be extended
The Sultan Ahmad Shah State Mosque in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia. Source: Wikipedia

Malaysia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Datuk Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar addressed reporters yesterday on the subject of the ongoing bauxite moratorium and cleanup, and new rules that are expected to take effect when mining is again allowed in the area.

Wan Junaidi said that the drafting of such regulations is at the final stages, and would be ready once mining resumes.

“During the moratorium, the ministry had engaged the related parties to review regulations, procedures and guidelines of activities to mine and export bauxite for improvement,” he explained.

“It encompassed numerous aspects including management at the bauxite extraction points, transportation, harbor stockpile management and bauxite export permit issuance.”

He went on to explain that mining would only resume once all the mining companies were in compliance with the new rules and regulations.

“There are a lot of things to be complied with by the players […]  so if any of those things are still not complied with, I may request the government to extend the moratorium,”he added.

“Among the things I am looking at are designated routes and lorries to transport bauxite as well as how the Kuantan port is functioning. The state government need to also provide a centralized bauxite stockpile center or convince me that another alternative is available (as stockpile center).”

Wan Junaidi went on to explain that the end of the moratorium was wholly dependent upon compliance by the industry’s players.

“We may request to the government to extend the moratorium depending on the compliance. We are also looking at washing bays and storage at the mining sites. I can’t say if I am satisfied or not,” he told reporters.

“If the ‘bauxite players’ can’t comply with these requirements, then they would need to provide the ministry with other alternatives that are equivalent to the guidelines currently in place,” added Wan Junaidi. “I will make the final decision when the time comes.”