PUTRAJAYA: The government will not issue bauxite export licenses (AP) to parties that violated the moratorium period currently being enforced until December 31, said Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar.
He said the ministry was informed there were individuals or entities carrying out bauxite mining activities illegally during the moratorium period.
“As the enforcement aspect of illegal mining is under the state government’s jurisdiction, the ministry will work with the Pahang government in addressing the issue and will take firm action by not issuing export licenses to any parties that do not comply with the moratorium,” he said in a statement here today.
He said the Pahang government could take enforcement action in accordance with the Pahang State Mineral Enactment if any parties were found to have illegally mined bauxite on government land.
“If the mining is on own land, additional penalty is liable to be imposed for violating the conditions for allowing them to own the land,” he said.
On September 7, the government agreed to issue the AP within a reasonable timeframe to the companies involved in removing the bauxite stockpile in the port area first.
The decision was made after Dr Xavier held a meeting with Pahang Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail to obtain more holistic inputs, views and insights on the direction of the mining industry and bauxite exports in the state.
Earlier the ministry had also held an engagement session involving representatives of the people as well as another session with the bauxite mining and exporting industry in Pahang to hear their views and obtain inputs.
Meanwhile Dr Xavier said a task force would be set up to provide a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on mining, transport, stockpile management and bauxite exports.
When the moratorium is withdrawn later, he said all industry players, including miners who are granted the export license needed to sign the Letter of Pledge to comply with all the conditions set to ensure Pahang’s bauxite mining industry was conducted in a sustainable manner.
“If any party is found to have violated any conditions set, the government will not hesitate to halt their operations immediately,” he added. - Bernama © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd