KUANTAN, March 16 — The Pahang Mineral Operators Association (PPMNP) claims to have suffered a loss of RM800 million since the government imposed a moratorium on bauxite mining activities in the state beginning Jan 15.
PPMNP vice-president Yap Soon Huat also claimed that the moratorium had caused the industry players including the services sector, transportation operators, restaurants and workshops missing on the economic spillover of about RM2 billion per month.
“PPMNP wants to emphasise that this moratorium has not only led to the drop in state revenue and corporate taxes from mining companies to the federal government, but also affecting the state’s business and the economy, especially in Kuantan.
“They have to reduce staff to ensure the stability of the company which led to unemployment and many people have to find jobs elsewhere during the current economic uncertainty,” he told a press conference here today.
Therefore, Yap urged the government to immediately revoke the moratorium to allow the economic activities to resume.
Yap also claimed that the pollution in the mining area was caused by illegal miners as the PPMNP members had always complied with the mining rules.
He said the pollution impact could be minimised with stringent standard operation procedures (SOP) imposed on the mining operators.
He added that the association had submitted a proposed SOP to the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, Pahang government and Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob on Feb 19.
Asked on the government’s proposal to only allow the use of covered lorries to transport the bauxite, Yap said it would only increase the operating costs that must be borne by the mining operators.
However, he said the association was ready to comply with all the instructions and SOP being set by the government to ensure that the mining activities could be resumed. — Bernama