Malaysia to lift 3-year moratorium imposed on bauxite mining due to growing demands

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  • 19 Feb 2019 12:00 AM
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Malaysia Lifts Bauxite Mining Moratorium After 3-Year Ban

Malaysia will not extend a moratorium imposed on bauxite mining on environmental grounds that expires on March 31 due to strong demand for the ingredient used to make aluminium, said Malaysia’s water, land and natural resources minister Xavier Jayakumar. Malaysia was once the biggest bauxite supplier to top buyer China, with shipments peaking at nearly 3.5 million tonnes a month at end-2015. But all bauxite mining was banned early in 2016 after unregulated mining and run-offs from unsecured stockpiles contaminated water sources. “In lifting the moratorium from March 31 onwards, we are ready to assure that the sustainable mining practices will be put in place to avoid a repeat of environmental transgressions in the past,” Xavier told Reuters. The minister said only miners that have registered with the state land and mines office would be allowed to extract bauxite, and that they can only use specific types of lorries to transport the mineral. Miners are also barred from exporting unprocessed or unwashed bauxite to avoid a repeat of the environmental damage from over three years ago, Xavier said.

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