Malaysia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said on Wednesday that it expected to have modified standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place by the end of the present moratorium on bauxite mining. According to remarks by Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Hamim Samuri, most details surrounding the new SOPs have been painstakingly ironed out.
“The SOPs include the gazetting of special routes for lorries carrying bauxite from all mining sites to the port, so that they do not pass through residential areas, public places, crowded routes, and comply with the load limit,” he explained.
“In addition, (it includes) the specification of a centralized stockpile location by the Pahang state government, to improve the stockpile infrastructure outside the port and improve the infrastructure within the Kuantan Port compound and stockpile transit area,” he continued. The failure of bauxite exporters to move the stockpile of bauxite at Pahang’s port during the course of the moratorium is one of the main reasons Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar extended the moratorium early last month.
“We carried out engagements with mining operators, the last being held on Thursday. We hope to implement this before the moratorium ends,” the deputy minister explained.
“Things are looking good (for the implementation) as the operators had agreed with the new guidelines which include payment of royalty to the state government before the Approved Permit (AP) for export can be issued.”
“They understand they can’t proceed (with mining) until they comply with all the requirements by the ministry,” he said of the area’s bauxite miners. “These include preparing suitable lorries to transport bauxite to ensure that the mineral is contained properly and does not spill on the road during the transportation process.”
“Their concern is business but we are concerned with the environment,” the deputy minster concluded.