KUCHING: Sarawak plans to amend its mining ordinance to encourage more downstream activities, said state Assistant Minister for Industrial Development Datuk Awang Tengah Ali Hassan.
He said the proposed amendments, which were being studied by the state Attorney-General’s Office, would ensure that mining activities would not be carried out near residential areas.
Mining licences issued so far were for activities to be carried out away from residential areas, he told reporters after launching a joint ceramic development programme organised by the ministry and Sirim Bhd at the Sirim office in Demak Laut Industrial Park near here yesterday.
Earlier, Awang Tengah said Sarawak was endowed with abundant resources of silica sand, kaolinitic clay and ball clay estimated to be 57 million tonnes, 21.1 million tonnes and 17.6 million tonnes, respectively.
He said Sarawak was listed in the Directory of Industrial Mineral-based Industries in Malaysia as the state after Perak to have the biggest number of industrial clay-based product factories.
“There is great potential to further develop the ceramic industry,” he added. Awang Tengah said under the ceramic development programme, his ministry had approved RM1mil to fund skills training.