KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 Malaysia extended a
moratorium on bauxite mining activities by more than three
months to Dec. 31, the environment minister said at a press
conference on Wednesday.
The previous moratorium was set to expire on Sept. 14.
Malaysia's largely unregulated bauxite mining industry has
boomed in the past two years to meet demand from China, filling
in a supply gap after Indonesia banned exports, but the frenetic
pace of digging has led to a public outcry with many complaining
of water contamination and destruction of the environment.
Late last year, bauxite mining was blamed for turning the
waters and seas red near Kuantan, the capital of Malaysia's
third-largest state and key bauxite producer Pahang, following
which, in January, the government imposed its first three-month
ban on mining the commodity.
(Reporting by Liz Lee, Writing by Emily Chow; Editing by Himani