Malaysia extends bauxite mining ban to June 30

: has extended a moratorium on bauxite mining, as it grapples with a stockpile that has yet to be cleared despite an official halt to mining activities more than two years ago.

The moratorium was put in place in 2016, after run-off from unsecured stockpiles of the mineral, dug up by largely unregulated miners, turned rivers and coastal seas red in Pahang, contaminating water sources.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the ban has been extended to June 30, to give the government time to finalise a regulatory framework to prevent a repeat of the damage.

“Once all that is ready, we will look at its implementation. We’re not here to ban mining, but it must follow best practices,” he said at a press conference outside Parliament.

Wan Junaidi said an estimated stockpile of 10 million tonnes of bauxite had yet to be cleared.

Local residents complained last year about ongoing mining activity, and the government noted in July last year that stockpiles had actually increased in size despite millions of tonnes of exports to top buyer .

Malaysia was briefly the largest bauxite supplier to China, with shipments peaking at nearly 3.5 million tonnes a month at the end of 2015 as miners rushed to fill a supply gap after neighbouring Indonesia banned ore exports. – Reuters

Source: The Sun Daily

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