Ministry urged to publish latest bauxite mining SOP

The moratorium on bauxite mining is supposed to end on March 31, but bauxite mining operators want the new operating procedures for the industry to be released so that they have time to comply. — Bernama

KUANTAN: Bauxite mining operators are calling on the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry to publish its latest standard operating procedure (SOP) for the industry in order for them to act accordingly.

Pahang Mining Operator Association (PPMNP) chairman Datuk Syed Ab Mutalib Syed Hassan said they had yet to receive a copy of the SOP to date.

“We urge the ministry to quickly publish their latest SOP so the industry will have sufficient time to comply. There are still stockpiles remaining within the mining areas and we request the government to allow and facilitate us in settling this,” he said in a statement.

Syed Ab Mutalib also implored the ministry to quickly settle the remaining outstanding issues including the proposed public hearing to be held here on April 14 and not further delay the lifting of the moratorium.

Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar said last week that bauxite mining and export activities would not be allowed in Pahang despite the moratorium ending on March 31.

Dr Xavier said the stop-work order would only be withdrawn after all relevant parties are ready to implement and enforce the SOP.

Syed Ab Mutalib said for now, PPMNP enforced a self-regulating policy and all of its bauxite mining members signed a memorandum of undertaking, empowering the association to monitor and lodge a report to the relevant authorities.

He said this was also to reduce the environmental impact of bauxite mining activities.

Similarly, a source from the Pahang government said they had been informed that the state’s Land and Mines Office had yet to get the final draft of the SOP.

Dr Xavier said his ministry would issue a strict SOP to cover the entire chain of activities related to pre and post-mining activities.

He also said the public could access and view the SOP on the ministry’s website by March 31.

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