THE Natural Resources and Environment Ministry will discuss with the Pahang government on the proposal to ban the export of bauxite.
Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said he understood the concerns of Kuantan residents over the unregulated mining of bauxite in the area.
In his ministry’s winding up speech on Budget 2016, Dr Wan Junaidi said he agreed with the proposal by PKR’s Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh, who asked if the ministry could stop issuing export licences for bauxite until a study was done on the impact of its mining to health and environment.
She added that even if the state government stopped issuing mining licences, there would be illegal sites so long as there was demand for the aluminium ore.
Dr Wan Junaidi acknowledged that the industry would come to a halt if exports stopped.
“To stop bauxite mining activities, there needs to be discussions between the federal and the state governments.
“God willing, we will bring this up with the state government soon,” he said.
Fuziah said there were no regulations on bauxite mining.
She added that the requirement for an environmental impact assessment did not apply since all the bauxite mines there were less than 250ha.
Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob had in August stated that the state government could not immediately stop bauxite mining as the industry generated economic activities that had spin-off effects in the state.