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Bauxite mining stakeholders want gov’t to announce SOP quickly

Published:  |  Modified:

Stakeholders involved in bauxite-mining want the state government or the federal government to announce a standard operating procedure (SOP) for bauxite-mining since the moratorium period had lasted for more than a year.

Gerakan Rakyat Hentikan Pencemaran Bauksit (Geram) chairperson Ali Akbar Othman said they have waited too long for a set of SOP because the moratorium had started on Jan 15, 2015.

“The delay in announcing the SOP would reflect the lack of seriousness by the government to resolve the problem or find a solution to bauxite-mining. We are still waiting.

“The government should have invited all non-governmental organisations (NGO), stakeholders, experts and others involved in bauxite-mining to discuss the best option, find a solution or seek their views.

“Only then can a comprehensive SOP be prepared. But until now there has been no action or invitation. If a SOP has already been prepared, make an announcement so that remedial action can be taken,” he said when contacted today.

Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob had recently hinted that the moratorium on bauxite-mining in the state would likely be extended for another three months.

He said the existing moratorium may be further extended after taking into consideration the environmental threat posed by unlicensed bauxite miners.

Yesterday, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the moratorium, which was supposed to end on March 31, would to be extended.

Wan Junaidi said the extension was needed since red mud from the bauxite stockpile area was still flowing into the area near the Kuantan Port during the last rainy season.

However, he said, the extension for “another three months or more” would depend on the cabinet’s decision.

“Bauxite mining done legally follows proper procedures, especially near Kota SAS and the residents living nearby have no issues. The mining area in Kota SAS is bigger than other areas but because everything is in order there are no issues.

“Lorries leaving the mining site are washed and the weight does not exceed the permitted level,” he said.

Ali Akbar said Geram had no objections to bauxite mining because there is revenue for the state but there should be a SOP in place and everyone should follow the guidelines.

- Bernama

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