Ministry hopes bauxite SOPs can be finalised before end of moratorium

KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 ― The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is hoping that improvements to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for bauxite mining can be finalised before the expiry of the moratorium on the activity.

Its Deputy Minister Datuk Hamim Samuri said, however, the new SOPs would only be enforced after the expiry of the moratorium, and that it was currently being discussed with the related agencies and parties.

“The SOPs include the gazetting of special routes for lorries carrying bauxite from all mining sites to the port, so that they do not pass through residential areas, public places, crowded routes, and comply with the load limit.

“In addition, (it includes) the specification of a centralised stockpile location by the Pahang state government, to improve the stockpile infrastructure outside the port and improve the infrastructure within the Kuantan Port compound and stockpile transit area,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.

The moratorium period of three months which commenced on Jan 15, was to have expired on April 15 but on April 8, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar announced the Federal government's decision to extend the period for another three months.

Hamim said according to the SOPs, exporters must also pay royalties to the state government prior to the issuance of an Approved Permit (AP).

He said on the whole, the SOPs emphasised on management issues at bauxite mining sites, transport and enforcement, management at stockpile sites and the port, and the procedures to export bauxite.

He said the SOPs would make bauxite mining activities more organised and efficient, as well as safeguard the welfare of the population and the environment. ― Bernama