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KUANTAN, Aug 18 — The state government is urged to intervene to expedite the issuance of approval for bauxite mining in Pahang now that the moratorium has been lifted.
Sungai Lembing assemblyman, Datuk Md Sohaimi Mohamed Shah said landowners in the bauxite mining area complained about the delay by the authorities in issuing the approval, despite the moratorium having been lifted last March 31.
“There are more than 300 landowners in Felda Bukit Goh, Felda Bukit Kuantan and Bukit Goh Youth Land Scheme (RTP) who are said to have signed an agreement with mining operators, but the mining operators are unable to carry out mining operations because of the moratorium.
“The problem is, some of the landowners had taken deposit payments from the mining operators, making them (land owners) liable to legal action if mining activities cannot proceed.
“Even if the mining operations cannot proceed, the landowners will also not to able to use the land for other purposes, including agriculture activities,” he told reporters at a briefing on the direction of bauxite mining in Felda Bukit Goh, here, today.
Meanwhile, Bukit Goh Village Community Management Council (MPKK) chairman, Jefri Salim called on the affected landowners to join Pertubuhan Gagasan Dua Generasi, set up last August 8, which would look into their plight.
On March 13 this year, Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister, Dr Xavier Jayakumar reportedly said that bauxite mining and export activities in Pahang would not be allowed despite the end of a moratorium on March 31.
He also reportedly said that the stop-work order on mining activities would be withdrawn after all the relevant parties were ready to implement and enforce the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for mining and exporting of bauxite, which would be carried out in a sustainable manner.
“The Mineral and Geoscience Department will not approve the operational mining scheme (OMS) for any holder of the lease or mining licence until the OMS is fulfilled, in particular, approval of the mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA),” he had said. — Bernama