BUSTED: Company given permit to excavate sand, but mines tin ore instead
KAMPAR: MALAYSIAN Anti-Corruption Commission officers yesterday busted an illegal tin mining activity in Kampung Lesung, about 10km from here.
With the price of tin -- once the backbone commodity of the state -- fetching about RM66,400 per tonne, there is a renewed interest in the commodity among companies and groups.
Using either old but functioning mining tools or modern tin-mining equipment, they had been able to mine illegally up to 10 tonnes of tin ore per month, said a senior MACC officer who led the raid.
Yesterday's raid came two months after a similar activity was detected in the interior of Pengkalan Hulu.
The officer said the sand-mining company was given the permission by Batang Padang District and Land Office to mine for sand in Kampung Lesung "but instead, it had flouted the law by mining tin ore for the past three months".
The operator had used equipment from China to mine for the commodity.
The officer said the operator had been carrying out the activities illegally side by side with its legal business. Several equipment were seized at the site.
"What is most interesting is the use of an imported equipment from China which is believed to be used by the company to wash tin ore," said the officer.
The equipment, known as beneficiation spiral chute, could have been used for dual purpose -- washing sand and tin ore.
Batang Padang land administrator Razali Bakar said action would be taken against the parties involved if the land office was satisfied that illegal activities were being carried out there.
He said the company was issued only a permit to mine sand.
In March, MACC officers arrested a 47-year-old man when he attempted to bribe Perak Land and Mines Department officers in Pengkalan Hulu so that no action would be taken against him for carrying out illegal tin mining activities.