‘Freeze may be extended to year end’
KUALA LUMPUR: The freeze on bauxite mining in Pahang may be prolonged until the end of the year because of the east coast’s erratic weather.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said his ministry needed to observe environmental conditions at mining sites during different weather situations.
“The moratorium began in January and could go on well into the end of the year. We cannot open them now because it is the rainy season there.
“Only after the rainy season can we observe whether rivers will be polluted or not,” he said at the launch of the Sime Darby Foundation’s Environment Day here yesterday.
He said there were no plans to permanently close the mines.
“There are local businesses to think about. Since the moratorium, many shops had to close. The problem is not the mining industry, but the management of it.”
On another matter, he said a draft syllabus for a subject on the environment in schools and universities was almost completed.
Once completed, the secretaries-general of the Natural Resources