KUALA LUMPUR: Bauxite mining and export activities in Pahang will not be allowed despite the end of a moratorium on March 31, says Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar.
“I wish to stress that the stop-work order on mining activities will be withdrawn after all relevant parties are ready to implement and enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs) for mining and exporting of bauxite in Pahang, which will be carried out in a sustainable manner,” he told a press conference at the Parliament lobby Wednesday (March 13).
He said the Ministry would be issuing a strict SOP to cover the entire chain of activities related to pre- and post-mining activities.
Dr Jayakumar said this would include rehabilitation, logistics management, and stockpiles at the port.
The Mineral and Geoscience Department would not approve the operational mining scheme (OMS) for any holders of lease or mining licences until all the OMS is fulfilled, in particular the approval of the mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), he said.
The Ministry, he added, would have engagement sessions with local residents and environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on April 14.
He also said members of the public could access and view the SOP on the Ministry's website by March 31.
Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh had reportedly said that local residents had expressed concerns over the recent announcement on the lifting of the moratorium on bauxite mining.
“The announcement of the lifting of the moratorium in absence of proper SOPs has given rise to concerns,” she added.
To address this issue, Fuziah said she requested that the parliamentary caucus monitor Lynas Advanced Materials Plant in Pahang to extend their scope to include bauxite mining.