TEMERLOH: Prospective bauxite mine operators need to obtain the necessary approvals from the Pahang state government to carry out ore mining activities in the state.
Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar said interested parties would need to adhere to newly-enforced standard operating procedure (SOP) for bauxite mining and exportation in Pahang if they were to obtain the green light.
"It is open (for mining permit application) ... those interested in participating in the industry (bauxite mining) can now apply to the state government for the necessary process.
"In order to secure approval, mining operators will have to adhere to the new SOP which has been introduced with more stringent regulations of the industry," he said.
Xavier was speaking when met at the World Elephant Day celebration at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre in Lanchang here today.
The minister was asked to comment on the next step before mining activities could resume in Pahang as he had on Sept 5 announced that the government had finalised the SOP for bauxite mining activities and exportation in Pahang, which will be enforced with immediate effect.
New Straits Times had also reported that the state government, through the Land and Mines Office (PTG), will be responsible for issuing permits to potential operators and the approval to resume work was under the jurisdiction of the state authorities.
It is learnt that while the mining licence would be issued by PTG, miners had to first get approval from the Minerals and Geosciences Department to ensure that their activities complied with the Operational Mining Scheme (OMS), which included obtaining an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The moratorium on bauxite mining in Pahang, which was imposed on Jan 15, 2016, was extended on nine occasions before it was eased in March.