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Bauxite mining future to be known after AELB results

Bernama  |  Published:  |  Modified:

The future of bauxite mining activities in Kuantan will be decided after the result by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) on samples of earth, water, and bauxite taken from the mining areas is made known.

Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob said it was the right thing for them to wait for the conclusive finding from the analysis, which was expected to be known in a month.

He said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar was scheduled to visit several bauxite mining lands in Kuantan on Monday.

"The visit is based on the instruction by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak. During the visit, Wan Junaidi will hear briefing by related state agencies.

"I have instructed state secretary (Muhammad Safian Ismail) to prepare the briefing details and for the minister to be brought to Sungai and Pantai Pengorak, Gebeng, and Bukit Goh (where the mining activities take place)," he told reporters in Kuantan, Pahang, today.

Adnan said he and Wan Junaidi were also scheduled to hold a meeting after the visit, to discuss on the next course of action to be taken to solve the situation.

He also clarified that the state government took the matter seriously but could not close down the bauxite mining operations immediately since it also generated income for some people.

This included lorry drivers, workshops owners, and small hawkers around the bauxite mining operation areas, he said.

"I never said that the economic stake is so high until we can't take action but for now, we must also consider the people who are making a living from this.

"The problem is caused by the operators and lorry drivers who do not adhere to the regulations," he said, hoping that a settlement would be found in which everybody's interests would be looked after.

Adnan noted that currently, the state government was relying on enforcement efforts by relevant authorities to reduce problems faced by the public caused by lorries involved in the transportation of bauxite.

For example, Adnan said the state Land and Mines Department had seized 125 lorries while 677 summonses had been issued by the police relating to various offences during the transporting of the mineral.

- Bernama

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